Several months ago I set up a Google alert for my book, “Knife Music,” to keep abreast of anything anybody was saying–good or bad–about the thing. Over the months I’ve received news of the occasional blog post and tweets, but more recently I popped open an alert to learn that my book was being pirated–both as a separate file and part of two larger torrents called “2,500 Retail Quality Ebooks (iPod, iPad, Nook, Sony Reader)” and “2,500 Retail Quality Ebooks for Kindle (MOBI).”
A lot of people think that’s a good thing. And maybe it is. But what should also be alarming to publishers is that the number of people pirating books is growing along with the number of titles that are available for download. As I’ve written in the past, the rise of the iPad has spurred some of the pirating, but now the huge success of the Kindle is also leading to increased pirating. Yes, some companies, such as Attributor, have done some studies about the issue and have seen increases. But for my evidence one only need glance at Pirate Bay and see what people are downloading and how many of them are doing it.
The most popular e-book download on Pirate Bay is the Kindle Books Collection, which has something like 650 e-books in it (it’s just less than 1GB), and is ahead of a 224-page PDF e-book called “Advanced Sex: Explicit Positions for Explosive Lovemaking.” At the time of this writing, 668 people were “seeding” the Kindle collection while 153 people were downloading it. A few month ago, the numbers of people downloading e-book collections like this at given moment were in the 50 to 60 range with fewer seeders.
See Also: Others have different views, today The Globe and Mail published an article titled, “The Rise of the E-Book Lending Library (and the Death of e-Book Pirating”)