This is a really interesting article on why people pirate eBooks - thanks to Shirley Burnham for pointing it out to me. It's been around for a couple of months now, but if you haven't seen it, I would recommend it. The article links to various comments and explanations as to why people pirate eBooks, and I've included them below and then given a librarian's take on them
OK, so this person clearly wants to have access to specific books that he's already got copies of. It's a bit like taking a copy of a CD that you own so that you can put it on your MP3 player. I absolutely get that, and can see why it's tempting. However, if the eBook was available in the library, so that the person could get hold of it whenever they wanted to, surely that's a winner all around? The person gets the book to read again (or who knows - simply to check out and re-read a paragraph), the library gets another user, and the publisher wins as well.
Well, I'm guessing that for most of us, a library, with access to eBooks is a legal digital outlet isn't it? So once again, the reader gets the book he wants, when he wants it, the library gets another user, and the publisher gets to see someone else reading their book.
OK, so if the eBook is available for free in the library, she can just go and borrow it from there. Another win-win scenario. Moreover, once she can see that there are plenty of books available, she's going to read more and more of them.
If the publisher let the library have the eBooks to lend to people, maybe they wouldn't pirate so many of them?
Again, the more expensive the book, the more likely it is to be pirated - stands to reason. Yet a library is one place that students will go time and time again, and if they can get the text book they need, that's a book that isn't pirated. Publishers are not helping students here, they are actively hindering them.
The pricing model is crazy - that person is quite right. However, what about when the eBook is free? No need to pirate a copy of it then.
People want to try authors and genres out. That's why they come to a library. If they can use the library to try out a book, they may find that they like it so much they'll go and buy a copy. Publishers are shooting themselves in the foot over this.
I think every single one of those key reasons why people pirate books is a key reason why publishers need to work with libraries. We can help REDUCE piracy, which in turn will INCREASE sales of books. The harder that publishers make to legally borrow books, the more that they will be pirated, and the less money they will make in the long run.