Why Weren’t E-Books Invited to Piracy Parley?

Though piracy is the biggest threat to the success of the e-book industry, nowhere were e-books mentioned in measures recently adopted by a consortium of media companies and Internet carriers to combat copyright parasites. Music? Yes. Movies? Yes. Video? Yes.

Books? No.

The campaign to push back peer to peer file-sharing and other freeloading was adopted by a powerful contingent of media carriers including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable who recognize that mass infringements will doom them if they don’t organize to fight.

“After years of negotiations with Hollywood and the music industry,” reports the New York Times‘ Ben Sisario, “the nation’s top Internet providers have agreed to a systematic approach to identifying customers suspected of digital copyright infringement and then alerting them via e-mail or other means.” (See To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties by Ben Sisario.)

Unlike the legal carpet-bombing conducted against end users by the Recording Industry Association of America, which lost in public relations more than it gained in halting unauthorized downloading (See This Academy Award Invitation Had a Subpoena in It) , the new approach escalates from polite warnings to perpetrators to interference with their Internet access.

All well and good for music and movie rights-holders.  But who speaks for authors? Last time we heard from the Authors Guild, their president Scott Turow was appealing to Congress to DO something about piracy. So? What is the government doing about it? From the viewpoint of victimized authors, it looks like damned little.

Richard Curtis


One Response to Why Weren’t E-Books Invited to Piracy Parley?

  1. It would surprise me if the big publishers would have attended if invited.

    I belong to several lists of authors who are fighting copyright pirates, and even the big name authors usually have to go it alone when they find pirated copies of their books because their publisher offers no help. Authors are told to find the pirated version and deal with it themselves. They must pay the lawyers, etc.

    As a partner in publishing, the publishers certainly don’t have the authors’ backs in this issue, and I seriously doubt they’d show any more backbone in this kind of joint effort against pirates.

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