With speculation that Apple’s new device will be aimed squarely at eBook readers such as Amazon’s Kindle, it may be high time to postulate its role as a modern conduit for the hoisting of eBook pirate’s flags. Not that pirates will directly use the iWhatever for straightforward stealing – though that’s hardly a far stretch – its almost certain popularity may manoeuvre into position as a pirate-pleasuring-platform.
Before piracy of music was made popular by internet formats such as MP3, and well before people began compressing movies in order to skirt DVD prices, pirates laboriously scanned the pages of books for PDF formatting. There was an art to it in the days of analogue. Today, books come in digital formats as noted by CNN, often sell more than their pBack versions.
Combine eBooks’ popularity with as much as 3,1x greater sales than pBack books, and you reap a pirate’s heaven. In fact, a little piracy may do users good: eBooks are often bought for the same price as paperbacks; the problem is that users have fewer rights regarding eBooks.
If on average, eBooks are purchased for similar prices as pBacks and at higher frequency, both pirates and publishers have room to develop their creative muscles: publishers to protect a massive new monetary scheme, and pirates to break that protection. Publishers could take note of Tapulous’ efforts to monetise on the piracy of their software rather than outright fight an inevitably losing battle.
Hear ye Pirates and Publishers – Just make sure to spill only each other’s bloods in the bout which is about to explode. Consumers need none of your pretentious quibbles.