Just a great article from Tess Gerritsen about e-books, piracy and what the future might bring to us authors.  Check it out:



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Eric, most of my books involve drug dealers. the US has spent billions on the "War on drugs" without making the slightest dent in the industry.

Other countries have taken different approaches with different results.

I guess what I'm saying is that if your only tool is a hammer every problem looks like a nail.

I believe it's more likely any government "solution" through legal means to thwart online piracy will be worse than the piracy itself.
There are all kinds of government programs that do work. Just try not paying your taxes, for example, or read up on Al Capone. And in this case of online piracy I don't believe it's been a real priority on a federal level yet. (FYI, I'm not advocating just a hammer, but it's a start.)
Hey, I'm Canadian, we believe in government programs more than most countries.

And we believe in a few that don't work, too.

I just think we should have learned more from music. Now, people are buying a lot of music online (maybe more recordedmusic than has ever been bought).

I've just made a deal with my publisher to offer my first two books as e-books for $1.99. Sure, some people will still download pirate versions and not pay the two bucks, but I feel this is the best way to fight piracy.
You mean we can't come up with a software code which allows an ebook to be down loaded to its paid customer and to no one else?

I think it's possible and it's only a matter of time before this comes along.
Yeah, but then you can just by decrypting software to bypass the codes on the e-book - people use them for pirating DVDs and iTunes music all the time
That's a poor analogy because it's a different scenario than the one I'm talking about. Yeah, I guess you can always go into a bookstore and steal a book. But we're talking about digital downloads here. If it were not possible to obtain a book online without paying for it, some people would just do without.

Your argument is also a straw man because I'm not arguing morals, I'm arguing impact. The moral issue is clear: downloading books without paying for them is wrong. But the impact on sales, on the industry, on authors, is not clear. So I'm arguing for more evidence. Just because it is wrong to download a book does not mean it is financially hurting anyone. It could mean that, but we just don't have enough information yet to know. If it turns out that it doesn't hurt anyone financially, and actually benefits, then maybe people will release more books for free. Paulo Coelho and Cory Doctorow are two authors who have had success doing that. But to determine whether or not giving away books is a good strategy, we need more information.

I don't know why you bring up the Attributor report again, as I have already read it, all six pages of it, and have already commented on why that report, even by its own admission, doesn't conclude anything meaningful. I've linked to my comment below. You've even commented on my comment.

That's a poor analogy because it's a different scenario than the one I'm talking about.

Sounds pretty close to the definition of an analogy, John. For example Webster's dictionary describes one as: "a resemblance in particulars between things otherwise unlike."

As for my other comments they weren't directed merely at you and not everyone here reads every thread.
Eric, there is no morality online, only effect.

The online world is very Marxist, one of the reasons I like it. It's all about what's "best for all," and how "information wants to be free," to each according to his need from each according to his ability.

It would maybe be better if the people most often involved in this debate realized how Marxist they are - removing the exchange of money from the "marketplace," wow, even Marx may not have taken it that far but he'd sure be happy about where it's going.

It's the opposite of Ayn Rand, it's a world where the creator has no power over their creations, the "leaches" (really, I've only seen the movies based on her books so I take a lot of this from the hilarious speech in The Fountainhead) can do with the creations what they want.

All we have to do is start saying "intellectual property is theft."

Still, I hve to say, I really like e-books and I think the benefits they bring writers (and reders) far outweigh any worries about piracy.
My position, John, is we better provide morality online or misfortune will ultimately follow. The recent economic crisis was essentially caused by the deregulation of the financial sector. Capitalism has no morality either unless it's infused from without.
I agree about the causes of the financial crises, but those things can't be fixed by moral arguments: laws, regulation, and enforcement are what has to be used. Someone willing to submit to a moral/ethical argument wouldn't have done those things in the first place.

We need to write good piracy laws and enforce them as well as we can. That will never eradicate the problem--crooks are creative bastards--but it will minimize its effects, and dissuade those who were on the fence about whether to participate in an illegal activity.
In my view governmental regulations are the imposition of communal morals and ethics upon individuals. Now we've got the same wild west attitude towards the virtual world that got us into trouble in the real world.
"Capitalism has no morality either unless it's infused from without."

Capitalism is much more than Goldman Sachs and Wall Street, Eric. Nine out of ten small businessmen -- I've met thousands -- work hard to be good guys to their employees, customers, and the community. They do so because it's good business and because they're good people.


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