Piracy Week at GalleyCat

By Jason Boog Comment

Bob-Miller_0176_bw-113x200.jpgIt was Unofficial Piracy Week here at GalleyCat headquarters last week, as four different writers tackled the question of book piracy.

First up, novelist Daniel Alarcón visited the Morning Media Menu to talk about book piracy in Peru. Here’s a brief excerpt from his upcoming Granta article on the topic: “Then there are the pirates themselves, informal book manufacturers whose overworked, antique presses are hidden in nondescript houses in slums all over the city. The larger of these operations can crank out some 40,000 volumes a week, and because of their superior distribution, the pirates can sell three times as many copies of a book as the authorized publishers.”

Next, our digitally obsessed sibling eBookNewser looked at a recent piracy survey: “According to the report, eBook piracy represents as much as $2.75 billion in losses to the publishing industry. Attributor’s report indicates that 10,000 copies of every book published are pirated, and that piracy represents 10% of US book sales. Now, don’t those numbers seem a little high?”

Magellan Media’s Brian O’Leary urged readers not to reject the Attributor report without studying the data: “In presenting the results of our work, I’ve said, repeatedly, that we really don’t know the impact of file sharing on paid content sales. The Attributor study won’t solve that, but it is data. It deserves an airing.”

Finally, HarperStudio publisher Bob Miller (pictured) weighed in on the piracy report: “We need to protect our author’s copyrights, and make sure that we don’t get Napstered by massive illegal online distribution. But small quantities of people reading our books for free may not be harmful, and may actually promote literacy, and the joy of reading … and the business we’re so worried about protecting.”

That’s four different opinions–what do you think?