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Let’s Chat: Pirated Books

Good Morning,

At the end of June I told myself that I wanted to start doing some discussion posts. I want to put myself out there a little more but I had no idea where to start. Well this past weekend I was given something to share.

Should there be a bigger conversation around pirated books?

To give you some back story on how this came about. Recently I found a creator on TikTok that started a discord server for people to come together and talk about books. Being a regular discord user I thought why not, I keep discord open all the time anyway. Fast forward to this past weekend my notifications starting blowing up (someone created a new channel) and the conversation was focused on people supporting and encouraging others to use book pirating sites. They kept telling people that its free, so its okay, yes they really told them that because it was free that it was okay. They also told them that nothing would happen to people that download pirated books. I’m not even going to get into the how to con Netgalley conversation that was happening at the same time.

Not quite knowing what to do, because I really wanted to do something. I waited a little bit so see how far this was going to go when another person on the server told them it was wrong, and as I knew would happen they ganged up on her until she left the server. However, this did lead some people to question why this person told them it was illegal. I decided to answer and explain that it was illegal and punishable by law. Yes I know its unlikely that the users will be punished which is why people continue to do it but that not the point. As I knew would happen they then attacked me. So needless to say that I left the server because I really don’t want to be a part of any of that.

So this whole incident really got me thinking that this is not a topic that is talked about a whole lot. Every now and then I see an author complaining about it happening (rightfully so). Some of the people on there really did not know that what they were doing was illegal, and it doesn’t help when people are telling them that its okay because they are reading… some of the logic used just didn’t make since. They also compared it to using a library, and told others that it really didn’t hurt authors because they make enough. There is so much wrong with all of this.

Anyway back to topic…I could tell by the way they were talking that most of these people were probably teenagers (one stated their mom said it was okay). I know that talking about it can be a double edged sword since bring it up can result in having more people looking for these sites. In todays age (yes I am dating myself) everything is at people’s fingertips and we are not keeping up. You would not see someone coping each page of a physical book and giving it away, yes I remember the HP sandal where someone did that in a Wearhouse and sold it before it was released. But these incidents were few no where as wide spread as this issue.

Where do we start I have no idea. I hope that someone comes across this post and it starts a conversation and goes from there. Maybe I will get hate and told I am too privileged to understand. But I am going to hope that maybe someone will consider that what they are doing does hurt authors, especially Indy authors who really count on every sale.

The only positive thing out of all of this is when I talked to my family about it my teenage daughter immediately stated “you can’t do that books are copyrighted” so at least I know that I have done something right there.

Lets talk in the comments I really would like to hear your thoughts on this.

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9 thoughts on “Let’s Chat: Pirated Books

  1. I think most people use pirated books because they are not financially stable enough to buy the books or a kindle. It’s especially true for teenagers who are only living on their parents’ allowances. I agree that the authors work hard for the readers and we should also support them and I love doing that but some people who are passionate about reading don’t always have the luxury to buy them and we don’t always have a library near our residences. Atleast not where I come from. So even borrowing is not always an option.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand the financial issues with purchasing books I don’t have a large book budget either, however, by downloading these books they are essentially asking the author to work for free at that point. For digital books you don’t need a kindle you can download the app on any device and there are always free books out there. They may not be the newest ones out but if you really want to read they are out there. I snag free or .99 books all the time because I don’t have a large book budget either. The biggest offending countries are the US and UK where library’s are more available and I think that in a lot of cases teenagers may not know how bad it is to do this. I think there needs to be some education around it because this really does hurt smaller/self-pub authors who count on every sale to be able to provide for their families. I think that they need to take the Plagiarism conversation a step further in school because the only way to combat anything like this is to educate people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. people don’t even think about plagiarism or piracy. I believe nobody really thinks about this unless they are avid readers themselves. People who read occasionally or casually don’t care about these stuff and that’s where the problem lies. They are so used to finding free books or free music they don’t even care about the deeper stuff. I mean we listen to music for free in our apps and I think that’s how people think about free books as well. If they are not aggressive readers they don’t care about supporting authors.

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  2. I agree with you completely. I know that books don’t come easily to some people around the world because they don’t always have access to them and that sucks and I wish there was a way to remedy that but that doesn’t make pirating books ok. It’s illegal and authors don’t deserve to have their hard work stolen like that. That has to be other ways to get your hands on books that isn’t illegal and if not my hope is that someone will create a way especially for those who don’t always have access to books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With all the technology out there you would think that someone would have come up with a global library system but I guess the issue lies with some of the countries themselves and censorship. So I guess that Idea may not be feasible. I also think that there is a misconception that all authors make a lot of money and that they are not hurt by this. Maybe this is something they need to add to the plagiarism conversations they have in school since its stealing someone’s work. Otherwise we are going to continue to have kids that don’t realize what they are doing is wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally agree with Misty’s comments. I guess I was naive and thought more countries has public libraries but was informed by some bloggers that I follow that is not the case. Unfortunately there are too many of those sites out there than make people think it must be okay. It is not anything like using a library, the library buys the books and the author is paid. The comment that bothers me is the teen that said his mom says it is okay. What is she teaching her child. This is something that will be going on forever, whether it is books, music, movies etc. Made me think, Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What is really bad is that the biggest offending countries for book piracy is the US and the UK. Both of these countries have library’s for people to use. And the mom just saying its okay is a whole other issue for this upcoming generation… either she wasn’t paying attention to what they were doing or she just didn’t care. Sadly I am not surprised just from what I have see while my daughter has gone through school.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This topic just really fires me up. I just can’t understand how people think it’s okay to steal because they can’t afford something. Learn to go without until you save enough money. Or, start reviewing books. There are tons of authors willing to give away their books for reviews. Great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I agree, what gets me is that these people are downloading them and using apps on their phones to read them. I know that there are free Kindle books out there and the app is free to download so there really isn’t an excuse.

      Liked by 1 person

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