This. Is. Wrong.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

For the Cybils I was looking up some reviews to books I'd recently finished, just to see how our thoughts compared. I was typing in the title and author (it's a more generic title) and this is what I found -

I was shocked and horrified that was the first prompt after her name. Torrenting or downloading is stealing, people. I did another test, on a bigger name author. The results made me bug out.

I quickly typed out other author's names, as fast as I could come up with them.

And you wonder why the publishing industry is struggling. Now instead of competing against competition like movies/music/video games/etc. it is now fighting against its own customers. It's simple. If you want stories and books to stay around BUY THE BOOK!


Autumn said...

I just had a whole long comment typed out and blogger ate it. Anyway I was just (like 20 mins ago) looking for an author's website and found their entire book scanned in. It was like the 3rd listed google hit. Just there for anyone to read the entire book.

Enna Isilee said...


I spend at least $100 on books every month. Seriously, people. If you want to read it badly enough to STEAL it, just buy it!

Lauren said...

I'm with you on this one. It also disturbs me when I look at my blog stats and see that some of my hits came from people who searched 'download [whatever book] free' or similar. My blog is for people who love books, not people who want to steal. It's great that you posted about it - I think people who download books illegally should have as many reminders as possible that it is *wrong*.

Dana Cheryl said...

I think what's going to have to happen is that we're all going to have to become more comfortable with e-readers which is driving down the price of books so that all people can afford them. Don't get me wrong... Stealing is wrong. However, if books become more affordable then there will be less stealing.

I think we're definitely on the right track but books/albums and movies need to be at most the price of what a minimum wage worker is paid per hour if we want to realistically & drastically cut torrenting practices.

People are struggling. I see no less than 15 people a day at work that can't afford $10.00 to buy antibiotics for their sick kids. The economy is that bad! It really truly is ya'll. So if people can't afford the gas money to drive their kids to the library what's going to happen?? Kids are going to steal without even really comprehending the particulars.

Again it's wrong to steal but we're only going to see worse things if the economy doesn't get better.

I think it's wonderful that some of ya'll can afford to spend $100 a month on books but the military wife I met today who's husband has been deployed overseas for a year who is taking care of their four children alone and can't afford antibiotics for three of her kids really isn't in a position to spend even $10 on a book. So how 'bout you people rolling in the money start a foundation to help military kids get books to read.

Heather Zundel said...

Autumn - It's horrifying, isn't it? People work very hard to create these, and they should be paid for their efforts.

Enna - I like that. If you want it bad enough to steal it, why not buy it? An official teaser to get a "taste" for the book is completely different, offered through official sources, and are just that - tastes.

Lauren - Yes, repetition may be needed. I don't know why that I'm so struck that it's a google PROMPT. That means a lot of people are googling that term. And I'm sorry people find your blog that way.

Dana - Wonderful comments. Thanks for another perspective. You are a darling. :) I know things are tight (I am met with it every single day myself), but I am going to have to disagree with you a little. I'm not completely brushed up on the ebook circuit, but books are not overpriced. There is the author, the agent to consider, the publisher and all the people that worked on that book within that publishing house - the marketing team, the graphic designer, the edtiors-multiple usually, the copy editor, the typographer, the publicists, the printers, not to mention the packaging and shipping costs of getting them to bookstores (the truck drivers and their gas, etc). And then there is the bookstore managers and all of their employees as well. That adds up to a lot of people to pay. And ebooks are actually priced way too low in many people's opinions (that I've read). The market cannot sustain those prices because people will the EXPECT to pay those prices and those prices alone, and you just have to look at all the people above to know that isn't possible. I've read in several places, places like Amazon are purposefully keeping ebook prices insanely low so as to sell more kindles and actually demanding that the publishers cannot set their own prices. That kind of monopoly concerns me (but is a topic for a different time). And ebooks may be contributing to the problem because these downloads are in electronic formats, and they have to read them on something. Many if not most books are offered in ebook formats, which makes the torrenting even more disconcerting. I definitely believe ebook readers have their place, and they are marvelous creations and I am looking to getting one soon when I can, but I don't think turning to them is the only solution.

Heather Dixon said...

If you google "Why is there no..." you get "Why is there no light in the freezer?"

Google I love you

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I answer book questions on Yahoo Answers and it's ridiculous how many people are on their just trying to find free copies of books. The craziest part is there are very few people there saying, "Hey, you can get books FOR FREE from your library." A solution that probably would take much less time than searching for a free copy of a book online.

Dana Cheryl said...

Yes, people like you and I are experiencing struggles associated with the economy but neither of us can fully appreciate these circumstances. We are both single without children. We don't have to buy groceries for four people (on average), pay a morgage, pay electric, water, cable, internet, telephone, and trash pick up bills for four people. We do not have to pay property taxes on the homes that we're currently paying morgages for each month. Nor do we have the taxes associated with homeownership on a local, city, or state level.

332 homes were foreclosed upon in my rural county of 7000 people for the sole reason that their Property Taxes could not be paid. Just imagine the numbers for an urban county.

Also neither of us have to buy school supplies, medicine and clothing for children which is an important consideration.

I work for an agency that is trying to help fill in the gap during this double dip recession which at least three top economists are calling a depression. Over 33% of the people we see are new to us. Most of them are teachers whose husbands have lost their jobs at GM, Wachovia, the myriad of Tyco Industry subsidiaries, banks and the hundreds of other businesses that have not made the national news.

I know it's hard to truly comprehend what's happening in the world but it is that bad. Reading is a luxury. If the publishing industry is going to survive it is going to have to adapt as the music industry has started to do.

Being that I live close to Nashville and have several friends/family members working in all aspects of the music industry... photographers, musicans, publishing, licensing, graphic design, promoters, etc... I have an intimate knowledge of how the music industry is radically changing.

Print publishing will have to adapt as well. Less artwork, fewer photo shoots, less middle management, smaller commissions, less printing/more uploading to save transportation costs, less marketing, less everything really...

It's not ideal but it is realistic. The world is being forced to go digital. If changes are not made we're going to see major publishing houses collapse like...
Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae
Bank of America
Goldman Sachs
Morgan Stanley
Florida Housing Corp
District of Columbia Housing Agency
The list can go on but it currently includes 58,000 major businesses in the United States.

Is torrenting wrong?
Is is going to stop?
No. It's on the rise.
Is there a work around?
Is it ideal?
Will sacrifices be made?

I don't like it either but we lost another 10,000 + public sector jobs last month. That's firemen, police officers, teachers, garbage men, meter readers, librarians and employees working in all levels of city, state, and federal government.

If we can't pay our police officers & teachers how can we pay publishing houses?

Please let me reiterate that I don't like that the publishing industry is about to undergo major changes but it will have to happen if they are to survive.

Ebooks will cut out shipping/printing/middle management costs. It will drive down the costs of purchasing books and that alone will end a great deal of the stealing. People are basically good and will do the right thing if they can.

According to one of my friends working for Virgin Atlantic (Record label) we will see smaller recording labels go 100% digital in the next 7 years with major labels converting at least 75% their output into that venue as well.

Several major newpapers are hinting that they will cease printing in the next 7 years as well. If newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and the almighty Wall Street Journal discontinue printing operations then I think we truly are looking at a brave new world.

We're living in a world where very many people are learning they must adapt or die. Businesses by necessity will have to follow.

Meghan said...

If times are tough, that's what the library is there for. Boost circulation numbers instead of stealing. There's never an excuse. This sort of thing is just so frustrating. If your library doesn't have a book, request it. I can't understand why anyone thinks stealing in any circumstance might be okay.

Part of it is the publishers' fault. I was searching for a legitimate ebook download the other day and unfortunately I found an illegal forum instead - full of illegal book downloads (in addition to other piracy). I felt sick. Then I bought the hard copy and was glad that at least I was doing the right thing.

Heather Zundel said...

Heather - Google prompts are some of my favorite past-times. :)

Missprint - I hate it too. I know some library selections are limited, but most states have interlibrary loan (and I think interlibrary loan may go across states in some cases).

Dana - I still feel libraries are the best option. How close is the nearest library to your friend?

Meghan - I agree. Completely.