Ebook Popularity and Piracy
There’s a good article at LibraryThing about ebooks, ownership rights, and priracy. The article tries to cover a bit too much at once, but it did make me think about the effect of ebook piracy and how to combat it. While the author makes a good point with the figures from the music industry, you must keep in mind that music is very different from books in that whether you get music from a CD or digital, it is always consumed the same–listened to with headphones or speakers. Books on the other hand, until the last 20 or so years, were always read from paper. E-paper has reduced the differences between printed and electronic words, but reading, holding, and displaying paper books is still vastly different from doing so on an e-reader. I think these differences are important to increasing printed and electronic book sales.
Perhaps I’m oversimplifying, but I think one way to combat this downward spiral is to put much more emphasis on the value and worth that physical books have over ebooks. Sure one can build a digital library of thousands of books, and have them all accessible on one’s kindle, but where is thematerial beauty of that? The individuality of trade paperbacks and hardcovers? The beautiful rows of shelves lined with dusty tomes? That is what needs to be emphasized when battling ebook piracy.
The other aspect to battling piracy is to keep ebook prices low enough that someone who does prefer ebooks will buy rather than steal. This encourages would-be piraters to buy, and still makes money by encouraging ebook sales. Dropping the price also sends the message that ebooks have less value than their print counterparts, so ebooks are less likely to overtake printed books.
What is your take on all this? I’d love feedback!Books, e reader, ebook, economics, library, librarything, piracy, reading