Friday, 7 March 2014

What about book piracy?

Written by Dan Brown, 2010's 'The Lost Symbol' sold more digital copies for the Kindle in its first few days than traditional hardback editions. It was hailed as a major new turn for the publishing industry at the time.

Frisch (2010) reports that pirated copies appeared online within 24 hours, and had been downloaded over 100,000 times within a few days. Does this make the Kindle the literary equivalent of the i-Pod?

Actual research into book piracy is scarce. Perhaps the most revealing insight to date comes from author Lloyd Shepherd's (2012a) account of having his first novel, 'The English Monster' (2012b) pirated.

He explains that responses to his request for 'understanding' (on the website where the pirated version of his book appeared) included that pirated books create great publicity for authors and that where a physical copy is already owned, downloading a digital copy is justified.

Sound familiar?

Tweets between eats @musicpiracyblog


Frisch, M. (2010). Digital piracy hits the e-book industry [online]. Available from:

Shepherd, L. (2012a). Lloyd Shepherd: My parley with ebook pirates [online]. Available from:

Shepherd, L. (2012b). The English Monster. Simon and Schuster UK Ltd: London.

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