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.