Piracy can be a rather sensitive subject and I am not bringing it up to incite tempers or stir the pot. My purpose is to bring awareness to readers of exactly what constitutes e-book piracy and why it’s so harmful.
At one time or another most of us have read a really good paperback then passed it on to a friend. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this practice. In fact, I encourage you to share good reads with your circle of friends. It helps readers find authors they enjoy but might not otherwise have discovered on their own.
Sharing electronic book files is a whole different ballgame. If you are sharing e-books you’ve enjoyed with a friend or two as in the above example, in my opinion it’s all good. That said, if you are posting electronic books on file sharing sites where literally anyone with access to the web can download those books then you are committing e-book piracy, a crime investigated by the FBI and punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
See the difference? It’s natural to want to share a great new read with a couple of friends but posting or downloading a book at one of the various file sharing sites is theft. Neither the author nor the publisher make any income from all those copies now being taken.
Due to extreme losses of book sales related to piracy your favorite authors and publishers may no longer be able to continue bringing you the fabulous stories you have come to enjoy. After all, the publisher still has to pay their staff of editors, cover artists, accountants and so on, whether they make any money or not. And regardless, the authors still have to pay their bills. When their books are being stolen instead of bought there really is no motivation to continue working so hard. And make no mistake, writing is both an art and a job. Crafting the stories you love and get hours of enjoyment from takes a great deal of time and work.
While Johnny Depp may make piracy look like great fun, in reality it’s a crime. Please support the authors’ efforts by downloading e-books from a legitimate source!