Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thievery is the new black

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across a news special on CNBC about the business side of the (cover your eyes, Mom) porn industry. Porn is big business. I was shocked by some of the statistics, such as a porn movie being made every 39 minutes in America. Not watched, but made. Once taboo, porn has made it into the mainstream, and like every other entertainment industry it’s been hit hard by both the rough patch in the economy and…wait for it…internet piracy.

That’s right. Internet piracy is taking much of the pleasure out of the business of pleasure. The news special drew parallels between what’s happening with porn and what happened with the music industry, but anyone in publishing knows we have our own problems with internet piracy, too.

Here’s my question: When did stealing become the norm?

The Washington Post did a recent article on internet piracy and the publishing industry, and what was most disheartening to me were some of the comments posted by people who felt there was nothing wrong with downloading free books. There are tons of eBay sellers who are selling hundreds of books. I hope I never experience a knife to the gut, but it certainly cannot feel worse than seeing something you slaved over being given away.

With the internet and the emergence of so many new delivery mediums, stealing music, movies, porn and even romance novels has become all too easy.

But just because it’s easy, it doesn’t make it right.


Stefanie Worth said...

Farrah -- This topic burns me soooo much. I am sometimes surprised at how people who in other regards consider themselves THE moral high ground, make regular bootleg runs every week. The excuse? "Oh, Denzel is making plenty of money." But what about the person playing the waitress in his film?

Or in the case of our books, I'm amazed at how people think we're on this huge gravy train and them getting this "one copy" for free isn't going to make any difference to me. If they only knew how we not only count on that "one copy" but every single copy -- not just for the life of this book, but for the hope of any future books we hope to publish as well. #@&%!

Jewel Amethyst said...

I guess because it is easy, it is done remotely (as opposed to breaking in somebody's house), and people are of the erroneous perception that authors, artists, actors etc make a lot of money. It doesn't feel like stealing if you lift it off the internet or you paid for the bootleg.

I find it strange that readers (not those selling books) would get bootleg books when they can be checked out of a library FOC, with out the guilt associated.

Genella deGrey said...

Hey Farrah - Hey Jewel - The thieves have to realize its wrong before the guilt can kick in. No remorse, no crime in their minds.

Genella deGrey said...

And Hey Stefanie, too!!!