There's a lot of talk these about digital copying ("piracy") in the literature world.
While torrents and other methods of illegally downloading copyrighted material seem like the concern of yesteryear, the truth is, it's relatively news for the publishing world.
Moreover, the music industry changed due to illegal sharing, and the film industry is adapting as well. It's as though when people started downloading media, they spaced out the part about books, and to compensate they're stealing whole libraries.
But honestly, it doesn't bother me too much. Here's why:
The Vast Seas & Obscurity Island
Here's the truth:
There's always the dispute whether an artist is jipped of their moolah every time a MP3/MP4 or DVD file is stolen. There's crystalline clarity when it comes to books, though. If you steal a book, it's like reaching into an author's wallet.
Check this: While I'm not a big fan of having my money stolen, I'm less of a fan of obscurity.
No matter an author's monetary view of things, one thing remains clear: A published author who stays unknown doesn't have their story reach out to readers who might long for a story just like there's.
In other words, you want people to read what you've written. If you didn't, then you probably would've pursued a career in publishing to being with.
My official stance is that I'd rather have my book stolen and well-read than paid-for and collecting dust on the bookshelves. What really makes a story for me is when I hear back from a reader who was influenced by my work. That's cool, that kind of communication without necessarily even meeting in the flesh. It's verbal magic.
While I don't encourage people to steal my stories (it would be cool if there was some kind of set-in-stone ratio), I'm flattered that someone actually made the effort to read my work. But that's just me. What do you think?
*Note that my argument focuses around authors and readers, not booksellers. While as an author I'm not bothered when someone tells me personally that they stole my book, I can definitely see how such practice is detrimental to brick and mortar book showcases and indie stores.
The more people steal digital copies of books, the less of an audience booksellers reach out to. Why buy a book you can have for free, right? Here's my idea: If you happen to download something for free that's not normally free, maybe you could either purchase the fuller work, leave a review, or spread the word about the work and its author. You know, if you really liked it.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.