Wiley suing BitTorrent book pirates

Credit: flickr/roland

John Wiley and Sons, the huge publisher of "For Dummies" books, is suing 27 "John Doe" BitTorrent users for sharing copies illegally. Will this tactic work better for books than it has for music and movies?

Publishers have a legit gripe, since best seller copies illegally posted online can be downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. Wiley claims one Dummies book on Photoshop CS5 has been downloaded more than 74,000 times since June 2010. Even the new biography of Steve Jobs has become a hit on the download sites, and Jobs famously said that pirating was bad karma.

Special BitTorrent and other download sites have become much more numerous over the past few years. Wiley spokespeople said the losses are "enormous" but can't name an exact dollar figure. And that's one of the problems when discussing online piracy: how many of those 74,000+ downloaders would really buy a physical copy of the Photoshop CS5 Dummies book if they couldn't download one for free?

Way to go Wiley

Okay, so all of you who feel that supporting Wiley in this is somehow trolling...explain that to me, please, because I'm a novelist who has seen decreasing royalties and increasing piracy, just like all my novelist friends, and it is a real threat to my livelihood. I count on book royalties to pay for things like food and electricity. If you steal my work instead of paying for it, I can't continue to produce it. If it's just that you'd rather pay the producer of something directly than some faceless publisher, fine - then explain to me why even my self-published book gets pirated, because I'm still trying to figure out how people justify that to themselves.

DelDryden on torrentfreak.com

Go Wiley, and thank you from this author who has been extensively pirated. I suggest that all authors watch sites like Scribid, 4Read and others for pirated material. We must join with our publishers if this is to be stopped.

Whitley Strieber on publishersweekly.com

As a micropublisher whose books have been pirated, we don't have the ability to do much (although we've gotten some full-book scans taken off Picasa--we discovered, despite success in one small area, that we can *either* chase pirates *or* carry on with the rest of our business). Pirating is a SURVIVAL issue for publishers of all sizes.

Deborah Robson on publishersweekly.com

its not worth getting sued for a book

Guest on torrentfreak.com

The reason is …

The o my reason I would of been tempted to pirate this is because my Ibooks hasn't been working that great recently and keeps losing my books. Grabbed the audio book off iTunes instead :D

Jabjabs on cultofmac.com

No - times are a changing, technology is changing and the old models are no long profitable. Find a new way of doing business or die. Suing people is the last resort of the already-failed.

Guest on torrentfreak.com

I'm actually VERY tempted to torrent it. Why? Not because I'm cheap. Not because I don't have the money. But because it's taken almost a week longer than it should've to get here, and frankly I'm sick of waiting. So...

Pete Wolfinger on cultofmac.com

For every book I've downloaded, I've purchased at least two or three more despite the fact that there is a good library in my area.

Floppy Copy on torrentfreak.com

Copyrightist scum are the thieves here, you doofus.

Anon on torrentfreak.com

Thieves all around

Oh, come on COM, call stealing

MichaelBurns on cultofmac.com

Until publishers prosecute such pirates in BOTH criminal and civil suits the piracy will continue. Only when an intellectual pirate faces 20 years without parole will there be an incentive to find a more legitimate pursuit.

Larry Moniz on publishersweekly.com

I am a retail bookseller. Last Christmas I asked someone good with technology to obtain the top 10 hardcover fiction (on my shelves) as e-books. It took all of 35 minutes to get 12 titles (not one was missed, plus the next 2) in either/both .mobi and .epub formats.

Michael Neill on publishersweekly.com

Full disclosure: I am co-author of two For Dummies books, but since they're about Novell NetWare, nobody wants to pirate those.

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