Is eBook downloading stealing?

Those nice people at mediabistro recently shared an article about ‘Who’s Stealing eBooks?’

Interestingly, they claim that 75% of eBooks in the US are bought and paid for as opposed to copied or downloaded. Also, 69% of eBook owners have bought every single book they own on the eReader.

While that is good news, it does mean that between a quarter and a third of all books are being obtained illegally and the author, publisher and (if they have one) agent are receiving nothing for their time and trouble of taking a year or more to write a book, edit and then publish it, not forgetting marketing and publicity. Also, authors need to make a living to eat and pay bills like the rest of those who need to work.

Janis Ian


Janis thinks differently

There is also a large number of people who believe that once they have a ‘free’ copy of your work, they are more likely to pay for copies of your other work. Janis Ian (singer/musician) strongly believes in free download marketing. To be fair, Janis Ian’s point is about promoting free downloads and not promoting illegal downloads.

Before digital technology, you could lend a CD or a book to a friend. They wouldn’t have to pay for it and wouldn’t have considered this as stealing from the writer.

Where do you stand on this argument?


One Response to “Is eBook downloading stealing?”
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