Date: 2010-08-16 01:32 am (UTC)
Step 1: Ask what the difference is between downloading the book/movie/album and borrowing it from a friend, or a library. Particularly since you're not downloading it to keep, but just to check out prior to purchase.

Step 2: ????

Step 3: Profit.

Even according to most law, you're not a thief, really. You're a copyright infringer. A lot of companies are trying to equate this to "thief", but it's not an accurate comparison, for reasons discussed ad nauseum elsewhere. If downloading media leads you to buy one dead tree edition/ebook/album/movie you never would have, it's a net gain for the industry. The problem is that the publishing, music, and film industries know that, for the most part, they are trying to sell you crap. They want you to commit to paying for it before finding out you don't like it, because it makes their gamble on promoting and publishing the content producer more secure. Yet, if the main result of piracy is that we stop buying crap and buy more good material, I'd say that's a benefit to the good artists out there.

One of my friends is opening up a small publishing imprint, which is, of necessity, starting with eBooks. We've recently discussed the one thing she should do, the thing most eBooks don't do - put a page in at the front or the back, linking to the company's page and the author's page: "If you downloaded this via a peer-to-peer site, you can find more like it and support the author here; if you can't afford to buy it, you can donate to the tip jar on the page in question." Suddenly, pirates and hoarders are at least getting you some traffic and maybe some small donations. Go figure.
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July 2011

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