As someone commented: 400,000 times zero equals zero...
Or is there the same thinking going on here as with the confused people in the music biz? That there will be some magic monetizing somewhere along the line (advertising? Paid appearances? Just a good way to sell the idea to a film company?).
Bottom line, it's unavoidable. Any creators who make stuff that can be digitized have to take this into account now, if they're aiming to make some money at some point. If people get into the same habits of downloading free books from Bit Torrent as they have with music and movies then... you better move fast, writers! It's taken just ten years since Napster for the music biz to change, shrink the percentage for the musicians and educate a new generation into the idea of free music, all the time, for ever more. (check out what that means financially)
Publishers are already looking at a writer's online presence before thinking about signing them up. If they follow the major record labels then they will expect a writer to sell 10,000 ebooks off their own back before signing them up for a deal that will include a cut of everything the writer is involved with, including T shirts...
It's perfectly OK with me if Megan wants to give her novel away for free. A lot of would-be authors do the same with free Kindle versions.
What is not OK is stealing someone's book in order to give it away.
Once Captive goes into the digital commons, BitTorrent can mash it up and repackage and sell it any way they choose, completely removing your name from a product that you've created, same as the worker making Hershey's kisses, or hard drives, or jewelry, etc. Books, digital books, are products, and I would like to get paid in money, so I can pay my bills, but even moreso, because like any professional, if I do a job I want to be paid for it. Freemium doesn't pay my bills and, frankly, it's an insult.
At this point, the law for protecting intellectual property in the ether is gray at best, so authors are simply unprotected once their work goes out there. Democratizing the media is a myth, since the same entities (BitTorrent, for example), who take and freely use your product, your intellectual property, are installing digital fences right now to prevent us from getting at the material they are presently grabbing.
I love the quote and the message (essentially that we do the best we can in any given environment). Hopefully, as authors experiment new (profitable!) models develop. I actually believe that they will. If no one can get paid the work involved in writing and publishing a book just isn't sustainable. And people still read books...
But totally agree that stealing isn't ok.
I'll keep people posted on the BitTorrent promotion and related audience...if you're interested.