Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Copyright and book theft

Typewriter typing the word steal This opinion piece in the New York Times caught my attention in September. In "Steal This Book? There’s a Price",  R
Since 2009, when eBooks and book piracy became a phenomenon, income for authors has declined 42 percent, according to a 2018 Authors Guild income survey, with the median income from writing now so low — just $6,080 a year — that poverty level looks like the mountaintop. By contrast, a 2017 Nielsen survey found that people who admitted to having read a pirated book in the previous six months tend to be middle class, educated, female as well as male, between the ages of 30 and 44 — and with an income of $60,000 to 90,000 a year.
First, I still contend that we aren't teaching children/students/people about ownership of their work at a young enough age, so that they understand what ownership means.  I think, then, children/students/people could learn better about what it means to respect the works of other creators who own their own works. It would also mean reinforcing ownership in other areas, such as recognizing that even taking one piece of candy from a store is wrong.  For this to really work, everyone would need to operate at a higher ethical standard.

Second, there needs to be a easy way of reporting to an author or publisher when an item do not appear to be a legal copy online.  I think what this really means is that authors need to put their contact information on their works, including their books.  That could simply be a specific email address for the purpose of contacting the author about the work, including reporting copyright violations.  (In other words, not the author's personal email account.)  

You may read my two points above and think they will never come to be, which is what I think too.  I'd be interested in hearing what solutions you might have, so leave a comment.  And yes, do read "Steal This Book? There’s a Price".  I think you'll find it interesting.

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