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Myths About Pirated Books

This post was written by Elysia
on January 5, 2012 | Comments (130)

old edition of Big BlueToday I got five emails from authors all alerting me to a website that had 32 of our books and an equal number of other publishers’ books on it, scanned in and uploaded as PDFs for anyone to freely download. If it sounds like harmless sharing to you, please read this post and educate yourself on pirating.

First, the background: people loves to steal our books. Libraries and bookstores have claimed for years that some of their most frequently stolen stock are the religious books – anything from the Bible to those on witchcraft and magic. Whether this comes from a belief that all sacred knowledge should be free, a desire to hold onto a book containing so much wisdom (or so many exercises that can’t all be gotten through in the three-week lending period!), or, in the case of witchcraft books, concern that others in their small community might find out that the reader has an interest in these topics, and thus be “outed,” it’s always seemed a little strange anyway. If you’re specifically looking for a book on spirituality, doesn’t that imply that you’re trying to make yourself a better person? In that case, why start off on the wrong foot by stealing a book?

With this pattern having been in place for years, it should shock no one that in the digital age this would quickly translate over to stealing spirituality ebooks in any form. The music industry has wrestled with illegal downloads for years – we all know there are file sharing programs and sites that easily circumvent established means of distribution.

This is what a copyright notice looks like, stupid pirater.

The website I was sent multiple times today is a repeat offender. I won’t post a link here because I don’t want to drive traffic to her site. Let’s just say that she has a nifty little disclaimer about how she got all these PDFs of ebooks off the internet (presumably absolving herself of responsibility, having not scanned them in herself) and that as far as she knows they are not violating anyone’s copyright. And if she is in error, to please let her know. (I guess there was something about the COPYRIGHT PAGE of each of our books that she failed to understand.)

Llewellyn, Red Wheel/Weiser, and other publishers have notified this person, by writing to the email address listed on the website, several times. And yet that notice is still up, and our books are still there for illegal downloading. So today (after the very first email I received) we sent a DCMA takedown notice to her ISP, and hopefully those pages of her website will be removed soon. [Update: it looks like it's working. I'll check again from home, and again tomorrow.]

But since I kept hearing about it all day, regardless of our invisible-to-the-outside-world actions (which are things we deal with every day, incidentally), I wanted to post a few thoughts for you all to consider and hopefully discuss.

MYTHS ABOUT PIRATED BOOKS

“It doesn’t cost them anything to make an ebook, so why should I pay for it?”

This one I’ve also heard for legal, paid downloads, except in that case it goes “It doesn’t cost them anything to make an ebook, so why should I pay a normal book price for it? It should cost only $1.99/[insert your own price here]. I mean, I even had to buy a device to read it in the first place.”

Here’s the thing. First of all, an author wrote that book. They spent hundreds of hours researching, writing, editing, proofing, revising, communicating with their publisher, and in many cases, teaching, lecturing, writing a blog, marketing, etc. in order to have their good name in the field, in order for their manuscript to be desirable for publication. So that’s one person that should be paid for their effort.

Secondly, multiple people are involved in publishing a good book:

  • the editor who carefully selects, acquires, contracts and develops it (that’s me, in this case),
  • the editors who copy edit and proof it (the production editor, layout designer, and proofreader),
  • the marketing team that writes the back cover copy, web copy, catalog copy, and so on,
  • the cover designer who created a cover,
  • the publicity team that sends out a press release, galley, or review copy to your favorite Pagan podcaster,
  • the accounting staff who send out the royalty checks and pay our bills,
  • the IT department that converts our book files to ePub formats and keeps our websites and servers running.

These are all fixed costs, whether the book comes out in print or digital (unless the author is self-published, in which case he or she can have more control over the pricing of the book and also gets to keep more of the profit). If you add a print release (not digital-only) then you can add the sales staff, customer service, and the warehouse crew. Basically the only thing you’re taking out of the entire equation by downloading an ebook is the cost of paper, printing, and distribution (trucking, shipping, etc.), and the people who make sure the physical copies get sent to the customers, whether those are bookstores or people. So are you still so convinced that your ebook should only cost a dollar? Or nothing?

“It’s the same as borrowing a book from a library, or from a friend.”

Um, except for the fact that the library bought a copy of the book, or your friend bought a copy of the book. (Even libraries that now do digital lending.) And that they have a finite number of copies (physical or digital) that they are able to lend out at any given time – not a file that can be downloaded over and over again in the blink of an eye by complete strangers all over the world.

Let me put it this way – surely you would lend $10 to a friend in need. But would you put up your PayPal account details on the internet for the world to see with a note that says “hey, feel free to borrow ten bucks”? If you did, I’m guessing you’d go broke immediately, unless you have some very deep pockets.

“But publishers have very deep pockets.”

Maybe some do – but I’ve never worked for a publisher that does. We’re talking about Pagan books here. It’s a niche. We hope to sell 5,000 copies if the book is to be successful. (And, not to shake your confidence in the system or anything, but some of our books only sell hundreds of copies and we don’t make a dime.) We are not selling Harry Potter here! We are not flying our authors around on world tours or taking them out for three-martini lunches! Being an independent, midsized publisher in a small field is not a license to print money.

Here is a great quote to illustrate the situation, written by Colin Robinson, who formerly worked for a large New York publisher:

Books have always been a low-profit item and in recent years margins have been shrinking even further. Publishers now regularly give bookshops a 50 per cent or even a 55 per cent discount on the retail price. The distributor that warehouses and delivers the book will typically take 10 per cent of what remains, or more if you are a small publisher; 15 per cent goes on production (printing, paper, typesetting). Add another 10 per cent for the author’s royalties and the publisher is left with 10 per cent to cover promotion costs, rent and office expenses, wages – and profit. No wonder it’s called the gentleman’s profession.

“But authors have deep pockets.”

While you wait for me to stop laughing, did you notice the author’s royalty in the quote above? It’s not much, and it can actually be even less depending on the genre, the format of publishing, and a variety of other factors. Authors don’t have deep pockets either – they cannot afford to give you their book for free. If they could, they would! (And some actually have, just as many musicians are now releasing their music and letting their fans decide what to pay for it.)

Most authors support themselves with full-time jobs in addition to writing and enriching their communities. The very few who don’t work a “day job” have to tour and teach constantly to make a salary to live off of. Some even sell potions, spells, or courses on the internet to add a little income. And yet they still provide plenty of free content on their websites, blogs, facebook pages and other media. They are more than willing to share – up to a point. If they approach a publisher to publish their book, it means, by default, that they want to get paid for it. It has value. So do them a favor and buy their book if you appreciate their work and want to make sure that they continue to write for, communicate with, and teach the community in the future.

“But it’s all over the internet anyway…”

Go ahead and read all the free blog posts you want. Learn about Wicca by putting together information from ten different websites. Go ahead and search for that certain spell you need on Google. Not sure what to do for next month’s full moon? Just type it into the search box. Go onto the Internet Sacred Text Archive or Patheos and learn about the world’s religions. These are all perfectly valid ways to get information. There are TONS of free resources on the internet – ones that are given freely by their creators. (Perhaps because they have ad revenue they can rely on. Perhaps they just do it out of the goodness of their heart.) So why do people even feel the need to download whole books in the first place? By wanting to download a book more than you want to read a website or blog (etc.), you are admitting that it has a certain value that is greater than what you can browse for free. The sum is greater than its parts. So please, pay for it.

“But I’m poor, I can’t afford to buy these books myself…”

See the above list of free resources. And visit your local library.

“But I wasn’t even sure I would like it, so why pay money on it?”

In today’s book-buying world, that is no longer an excuse. You can get previews of just about any books online, either at Amazon, GoogleBooks, or the publisher’s own website. You can browse reviews from other readers on GoodReads or other retailers’ websites. You can visit the author’s website or blog and see if you like their writing style or agree with their ideas. You can ask your facebook friends if they ever read the book and would recommend it.

“Information should be free!”

I totally agree, to a point. Information is what permeates the very fabric of the universe; information is as basic and integral to life itself as light, and so far no one is charging for light. Information is heady and exciting. Hermes/Mercury, the god of communication, is also the god of tricksters and thieves, so it’s not unreasonable to expect he’d be encouraging illegal downloads.

However, he is also god of merchants – trading, bartering, and yes, paying for goods and services. If you step back and look at the big picture, information is just a type of energy. And energy is never static, it must be exchanged. Money is also a form of energy – it’s how our minutes and hours of toiling away at something we might not always like get converted into poker chips we can trade in for things we like better. Therefore, it’s not only acceptable to use the energy of money in exchange for the energy of information – it’s divine. Like the universe itself, you are keeping energy in balance, in motion, in an unbroken chain, just as it likes.

Thanks for listening to my rant today. Please, feel free to discuss in the comments… I’m curious to hear your opinions and thoughts on this matter.

 

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Deborah Blake
on January 5th, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

This is without a doubt the best, most well-thought out post I have ever seen on this subject. There is not one word I don’t agree with.

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#2 
Written By Angelique Mroczka, PWC
on January 5th, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

Thanks for the update!

As both a publisher and advocate for Pagan authors, it really hacks me off to find sites like this.

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#3 
Written By S. P. Hendrick
on January 5th, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

As an author published by a relatively small company I can only praise you for this article. Only authors like Dan Brown and Stephen King can realistically hope to get rich on royalties, and even they started out small. Independent and small publishing companies also have to worry about staying in business, as in this economy far more people are getting their books at the local library than buying them, and the current generation is more likely to watch TV than read.

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#4 
Written By Raymond Buckland
on January 5th, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

An extremely well written and researched post that I heartily endorse.

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#5 
Written By Daniel ExpĂłsito Romero
on January 5th, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

As translator and individual distributor I can only completely agree with this. People tend to put all in the same bag. The benefits of one of the books I am selling, for example, haven’t even covered the expenses for my translation work with it. Why? Because it’s SO difficult to sell pagan books. As it’s said on the article, it’s a very small niche.

The best excuse I think that is:

I’d buy it if it were an ebook….

No, they wouldn’t, they’d just “lend” it over and over, uploading it to some sites…

So, pagans of the world, if you want authors to keep publishings and editor to keep reprinting the books, buy them. Or, I am afraid, your children want be able to get a copy of any of them.

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#6 
Written By Denise Alvarado
on January 5th, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

As an author and publisher I have been battling this issue for some years now. I actually crunched the numbers once and figured if I had just a dollar for every illegal download I would be a millionaire. Yet I struggle to pay the bills like anyone else…and there is something that just doesn’t seem right about that. Thank you for this well thought out post.

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#7 
Written By jonquil
on January 5th, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

I’m thinking this woman has never actually been hauled into court on theft charges. If she had been, I bet she wouldn’t be depending on some little disclaimer to protect her against copyright theft.

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#8 
Written By Jane
on January 5th, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

Thank you for such an eloquent response. I also saw the notice up on facebook with the link to the site, which shall remain nameless. The whole thing is ironic, because they have a page that states their beliefs and values, and the rule of three(What you put out comes back to you three-fold, good and bad, by the way). They supposedly hold a high value in creating a safe place for people. How hypocritical! You steal from your elders and your teachers. You encourage newbies to do the same. The excuse that it isn’t stealing because you “found them on the internet” is the equivalent of “Well, the back door was open, so I just went in and took what they had laying around. Since the door was open, they meant to share it, it wasn’t stealing.” I hope the ISP shuts ‘em down. I hope they get exactly what their belief system calls for 3×3 back ‘atcha.

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#9 
Written By Diana Rajchel
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

As a person who writes for Llewellyn who routinely finds my work all OVER the Internet, sometimes credited, sometimes not, and usually far before the time copyright reverts to my ownership, thank you for speaking up about this. I really would like to see a paradigm shift where people opt to read these books and use it to create new, fresh materials and perspectives of their own that they can share online. The majority of my written work is online and was released with the intent of free sharing with accreditation.

Information should be free. When you pay for it, you are paying for someone’s efforts -or a team of someone’s efforts – in assembling that information into a coherent package. This is not easy work, and as evidenced by the common practice of just reposting such works in their entirety, it is at times a thankless job.

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#10 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

Thank you, Jane! You and a colleague here at Llewellyn have also just reminded me of yet ANOTHER reason not to pirate – it not only hurts the author and the publisher, but our independent bookstores as well! Not only do stores provide an important place for the community to get together, they also offer expertise, candles, herbs, crystals, statuary, and much much more! And for people who would rather buy ebooks, they can still support their independent metaphysical stores by buying those ebooks through their favorite stores, which is a service of course Eye of Horus provides, among others. : )

So everybody, think twice – protect your community and the people you love in it! Resist the urge to listen only to your wallet by downloading illegal books! We’re all hurting financially, and it’s the race to the bottom that ripples back through every layer which is making it worse, and harder to get out of our collective economic slump.

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#11 
Written By Chris
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

Thank you for writing about this very important issue. Now can we also address the issue of publishers such as Llewellyn routinely offering on their websites in-print books directly to the customer for the same discounted rate that bookstores must pay wholesale to their distributors for the same books?

It seems to me that this is another aspect on the same continuum of this article.

Thanks,
A Concerned Bricks and Mortar Bookseller.

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#12 
Written By Blake Octavian Blair
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

As a Llewellyn author, I thank you on behalf of all authors for sharing your spot-on thoughts regarding this matter!

Blessed Be!
Blake Octavian Blair

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#13 
Written By Star Foster
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

Well said!

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#14 
Written By Adrian Hawkins
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

As an avid reader, and hopefully one day future author I agree with this article. My only problem is that ebooks should be cheaper than the hard back copy of a new book. I’m ok with paying more for a digital download of an Ebook than say a song or a TV episode but its ridiculous to expect me to pay the same or more for an ebook than a hard copy. (An example of this would be Jim Butchers ghost story)

That being said, for those who can’t afford a book, I am working on starting a pagan Netflix book library.

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#15 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

Thanks for this great post! I think you should give it a copyleft so that anyone can republish it as long as it is complete, credits you, and gives a link to the original post.

I’d just like to chime in on your last point, that information should be free. I agree with this, 100%. Information should be free. However information is NOT a specific set of words. Authors often agonize for days or weeks in order to use words that share information in exactly the way they want it to appear. I hope people see what I’m saying: words are NOT information. Words are a way to transmit information.

So pirates, don’t copy my words or the words of other writers and authors. Instead, quit being so freakin’ lazy and write out the information in your own words. In my opinion one of the best ways for people to understand information is to read it in numerous ways; to get your approach and my approach and the approach of others. That can’t happen if all you do is copy the words of others. If anything, it freezes ideas and prevents the free interchange of information by locking it into one set of words.

Help set information free by writing the information in your own words. Show your originality and creativity.

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#16 
Written By Catherine
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

Oh, how many times have I been flamed on pagan sites for saying the same thing? Thank you for a well thought article, whose link I shall be sharing with your permission and proper credit given.

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#17 
Written By AstroHerbalist
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

Elysia, this is one of the best posts that I have seen this week on any topic, and certainly one of the best on this topic. I believe very few people really know the rigors of creating books! Consider this shared!

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#18 
Written By Phaedra Bonewits
on January 5th, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

I was just listening to a radio program about copyright this afternoon where some young man emailed the host about how ideas should be free. Yes, ideas are free, but the hard work that it takes to turn an idea into something real should not be free, unless that is the decision of the worker.

One of my late husband’s books is on that site, and I hope you are successful in getting it taken down.

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#19 
Written By Elmdea Bean
on January 5th, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for a beautifully clear post about book piracy!! Besides letting people know what the myths are, it also points out the fallacious thinking that many people employ in all sorts of areas of their lives. They do need the books — and paying for them would be a great start in turning their karma around!!

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#20 
Written By Skadi
on January 5th, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

The woman behind this cite claims to be Wiccan/ Pagan. The rede clearly states, “and it harm none, do what you will” THEFT hurts the authors. So it’s a no-go. Epic fail on her part.

-S

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#21 
Written By Kris Holmes
on January 5th, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

I deeply sympathize. But I would also like to have a way to have digital copies of paper books that I *did* buy and *do* legitimately own. It’s a quandry of this age.

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#22 
Written By Lupa
on January 5th, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

I think your Paypal analogy is spot-on. Well-said, all around! And thank you for the response to the concerns as well.

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#23 
Written By Jim Lockhart
on January 5th, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

I don’t think most people realize it takes 1000′s of dollars to get a book published and on the store shelves and into Amazon and Barnes/Noble.

I really wish some lucky editor would like MY book well enough to publish it. Comments from Pagans and non-Pagans such as “I coudln’t put it down once I started reading it” or “tears kept rolling down my face with the turn of every page” are commmon among those who have reviewed it.

Brightest Blessings.

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#24 
Written By Kier Salmon
on January 5th, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

Thanks. Needed to be said… for the umpteenth time and again and again. And very WELL said, too.

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#25 
Written By Hilary
on January 5th, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

Excellent, excellent, excellent. You’ve really hit the nail on the head here. I can see this argument from all different angles: as a copy editor, as a book seller at both a corporate chain AND an independent store, as a tarot reader hoping to one day write a book, and as someone who is friends with a number of published authors. I learned a long time ago that most of the time, just because someone is published doesn’t mean they’re raking in the dough. And even if they are, that doesn’t give another person justification to cheat the system.

Stealing is stealing. Period!

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#26 
Written By Jennifer Lawrence
on January 5th, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

Yes, this. As an author (of pagan and non-pagan material) and an editor (for a small, non-pagan ebook company), I have run across this from both sides — piracy of things I wrote and things I edited. People who would do this are no different from people who try walking out of Suncoast Video with a DVD stuck under their coat. I blame the entitlement mentality that’s so very prevalent everywhere today: “I want it, so I deserve to have it. Without payment, and without effort.”

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#27 
Written By Soli
on January 5th, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

I am so glad you’re doing this.

Gotta say something on the last point: Information wants to be free. I just got my Master’s in Information and Library Science, so this is an idea near and dear to my heart. But I don’t take free to be synonymous with no money. Free is about availability. Which, as you point out, can be done through libraries (and if your local library does not have a title, ask about interlibrary loan… and if you do it a lot, make a nice donation to your library, since ILL does cost) and sharing with friends. Or look for it in a used bookshop.

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#28 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

Thanks Chris – I totally agree, however that’s a question for our Marketing department! As I see it, Llewellyn (and other publishers) offers sales periodically, around special occasions (holidays, end of financial year) and not FULL TIME – which is the problem with Amazon, which is perpetually undercutting all of us, and pirating, which is perpetually stealing from all of us! So….good question, it’s one I wish I could address better.

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#29 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

Hi Adrian, unfortunately I really don’t agree. I don’t think they should be cheaper, or if they are, it should only be by the production cost i.e. 15%. NOT 50% cheaper or more, as some etailers are pricing them. It’s the same amount of work for us and the author, and if in the end we don’t break even and go bankrupt, then there will be less books for everyone to pirate. :)

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#30 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

Phaedra – I saw that book and I wish we could get it taken down! However, it’s not a Llewellyn book and the DCMA takedown notice MUST come from the copyright owner. I don’t know, in that particular case, if that’s you or the publisher. Find out and follow the instructions in the DCMA takedown link I posted! Good luck!

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#31 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

Kris – I totally empathize! To quote two of my facebook remarks in other threads on this situation:

“Your question depends on how you want to use it. Are you just upgrading? I would be perfectly happy with letting all book buyers also have a copy on their computer/Kindle/Nook/whatever, so that they could s…earch, highlight, take it with them, etc. Why not? But, the functionality would have to be decreased so that you couldn’t upload it to a website and share with friends. Maybe one share at a time – Kindle has a loaning feature for friends, I believe – but not more than that. I’d want some kind of assurance that you are only using it as a backup or duplicate of your paper version. (However, is that fair to people who only bought the ebook version – they can’t just walk into a store and take a paperback, just because they own the ebook version, can they?)”

And

“I wish there were ONE ebook format so we wouldn’t have to repeat the whole: cassette – LP – CD – MP3 thing, or the whole betamax (or whatever!) – VCR – DVD – BluRay experience. I hate buying the same thing over and over again! That said, that is the risk that “early adopters” of every technology face. BUT… the reason people “rebuy” things in new formats is that they see some boost in quality – of the picture, the sound, or whatever. Is there an equivalent boost in buying ebooks? Perhaps for portability, but I really can’t think of any other reason an ebook would be better (in many ways I can think of how they’d be worse, at least in this moment in time). That’s up for the consumer to decide, no one is forcing you to convert. For VCRs, yes, there will be a point in our future where they will break down and no one will bother repairing them anymore, and you’ll have to buy new media. But the same is not true of books – they will be good forever. Just heavy when it comes to moving them around. : )”

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#32 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

Jim – keep trying! I’m sure you’ve heard of how many times J.K. Rowling tried to get Harry Potter published… it’s all a matter of good luck and timing. ;)

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#33 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

Thanks, Soli! I’d love to hear more about the freedom/availability of information, rather than the “costlessness” of it. :)

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#34 
Written By Papa Bear
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

The Internet is intended to be a medium for the free dissemination of information. Somehow, people seem to have misunderstood the definition of free in that sense. Free as in freely disseminated, not free as in no cost. These are likely the same people who tell me that I shouldn’t charge for psychic readings, Reiki, classes on various spiritual practices (when not taught to members of my own church/coven/grove), and other things like that. Try to remember that kharma is still at play for them. Please still issue cease and desist letters and have pirating websites taken down by their ISPs, but don’t think that they’re getting away without consequences. Love and Peace!

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#35 
Written By Peter Lucibelli
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

Being on the current mixed path I seem to be on, I can totally say that your article was well written and so true. I am a singer/songwriter/producer and engineer in one life. In my real life though I work in the Trade Show Industry. That is sort of like show business as you meet a ton of well known stars and htey might be fine, but independents are just that, you are on your own. The reality is, if you want an art such as music, writing, acting, painting or dance then you have to realize that no big or sometimes even any money comes your way.
Instead of going on about how I can relate to your incredible article I will say this. Those that are willing to pirate anything should really examine what they are after. This path we are all trying to become better people.
Peace, blessings,
Peter.

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#36 
Written By Mambo Chita Tann
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

Thank you, Elysia. It is hard to get people to understand that their monthly Internet access fee does not mean they “paid” for whatever they find on said Internet sometimes. Piracy is with us, but that doesn’t mean we have to support it, or sit silent when it happens. As an author and an editor I fully support encouraging people to help the publishing process continue by not giving away our hard work.

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#37 
Written By Cerisse
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

I was directed to the website in question (I’m sure, though it was not named it’s the same). I quickly alerted my author friends that I was connected with on FB. I think it’s very sad that a “coven” would do this. We as Pagan’s usually, usually, understand that for these authors, it was at one point, a risk to have “our” types of books published. These authors, even some of the ones that are very published, still do not make a lot of money and to have this done is SHAME! I would not wish to be in that “coven” when karma comes to knock!

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#38 
Written By Dan
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

I appreciate this article, but as an author I want to offer a different perspective on this. I don’t see pirating electronic copies as stealing. I know this flies in the face of all conventional logic, and I may even be betraying a myriad of writer friends, but this is my opinion. One cannot compare electronic duplicates of a product to physical copies because they aren’t the same thing. I know not all people are pirating my books for free, and it may or may not be proportionate to the number of people who are likely to borrow it from someone else who did read it. Or they will go to the bookstore and read it while sitting there without having to pay for it.

Somebody paid for it. And that somebody can share it with whoever they want. I don’t feel ripped off. How many people here have made mixed tapes? Or used to rent movies from the video store and make their own VHS? I don’t care if people pirate my stuff. I’d rather have a thousand people read my work than a hundred people pay for it.

But still. Great article here.

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#39 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

I agree, Dan. But as I pointed out in the article – there are lots of other ways of doing business. You could give it away for free on your website with a donate button. You could do it as a kickstart project. You could self-publish. But once you get a publisher involved, you are signaling that you actually *don’t* want to give it away for free – at least, not entirely! And once you sign with a publisher, they are beholden to protecting your copyright. Just so you get that clear. I understand the need for fame, respect, spreading your ideas, but in that case there are better ways to do it than pubbing a book. I’d love to hear your further thoughts on this!

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#40 
Written By Anne
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

PLEASE ALERT http://www.hellenion.org if “Old Stones, New Temples” by Drew Campbell is on that site. That organization was GIVEN the copyright by Drew. Lately there has been at least one incident that the organization knows about where the .pdf of the book was illegally posted and I know that the President of the organization would like to take action if it has happened again.

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#41 
Written By A.M.Burns
on January 5th, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

Being a writer has changed my view on piracy a lot. I used to think some of the same things you noted above. I never did it, but I never stopped my friends from doing it. Now I tell folks, to think about what it would mean to me if folks were pirating my books. It’s hard hacking out a living as a writer, and folks don’t realize how little we make, they think every published author out there makes the same kind of living that people like Stephen King and Ann Rice make, not bothering to think about us midlist folks who have to worry about every little thing, and to whom every sale counts.
Thanks for the great post and hopefully more people will think twice before empowering the pirates.

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#42 
Written By Adrian Hawkins
on January 5th, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

Elysia,

I am not saying that ebooks should not be priced profitably, but it should not be more expensive to buy the ebook version than the paperback version or the same as hard back price.

I think a 15% -20 percent reduction or paper back ( and this is just guess work) pricing is a fair step down from the hardback price. Does it cost the same to produce and Ebook as a Paperback?

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#43 
Written By Bex
on January 5th, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

My general rule when it comes to books is fairly simple.

I am a traveller in the digital age. I can’t afford the space required to buy ink and pulp books. Buying bulky books just isn’t an option.

If the publisher makes the book available as a digital edition themselves, I’ll pay for it. If it’s not available for digital purchase, I’ll even send a message to the author or publisher and ask if they intend to release it as such anytime soon.

But if some poor sap has to go and scan in every single page and upload the file to a website in order to make something I can actually read, I’m going to pirate. If authors and publishers want to get paid in the digital age, they have to evolve.

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#44 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

Hi Adrian! Obviously I’m not an ebook buyer (yet) but I am unaware of any situations where the ebook would be more expensive than the paperback! At least, not substantively. We had a situation here where Apple needed all their prices to end in .99, and so our Flux (young adult) books went from $9.95 to $9.99. But I don’t think that’s a cause for outrage. I really don’t think any Llewellyn books (or most occult books, for that matter) have been priced higher in e-format than printed. Can you show me an example? No pressure, just saying.

I mentioned in this blog post the costs of printed vs. ebook, and while I haven’t seen our internal numbers (I’m an acquisitions editor, not a sales manager), overall it should only be about 15% less, which is what we’d pay on paper and printing. All the other costs (editing, cover, production, marketing, publicity) are fixed.

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#45 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

Thanks, Bex! I can assure you, WE have evolved. I can’t speak for the other publishers, though. And that’s the bottom line – people are pirating books that ARE available in digital format for downloading. To me that’s the same as stealing a printed book, since that format is also available for sale. The authors are the bottom line – if they wanted you to have it for free, they would make it available for free via any means in this digital age.

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#46 
Written By Nathaniel Downes
on January 5th, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

A small note. The phrase “Information should be free” has nothing to do with the price of books, and those who use it as a pretext for intellectual property theft are horrid for that. It does not speak to free as in price, but free as in access. A book on the shelf available for sale meets the standards for the phrase, originally coined by Stewart Brand in the 1960′s. Richard Stallman put it best in his book “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” when he said “I believe that all generally useful information should be free. By ‘free’ I am not referring to price, but rather to the freedom to copy the information and to adapt it to one’s own uses… When information is generally useful, redistributing it makes humanity wealthier no matter who is distributing and no matter who is receiving.”

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#47 
Written By youcensoredme
on January 5th, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

statement was censored first time: “Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author’s work under a four-factor balancing test. The term fair use originated in the United States. A similar principle, fair dealing, exists in some other common law jurisdictions. Civil law jurisdictions have other limitations and exceptions to copyright.”

its not stealing to access any media for these reasons you people need to grow up and read the laws

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#48 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

Youcensoredme – I deleted your comment the first time because it added nothing to the conversation. This post is NOT about fair use. Fair use is quoting less than 150 words from a source, with citation, without permission – NOT posting entire copyrighted books. So I think you are the one that needs to grow up and read the original post. Get over yourself, plagiarism and pirating is NOT fair use.

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#49 
Written By Wade MacMorrighan
on January 5th, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

I certainly hope that this article is not an attempt to justify support for the draconian and un-American internet censorship bill that would put us in the same leagues with China and Iran! SPOA is a dangerous piece of legislation that could affect the whole world and lead to million dollar lawsuits against potentially innocent people. It’s a little known FACT that it was Verizon and CBS, amog MANY other parent companies that came up with and distributed this file-sharing software and, after encouraging us to use it to violate others’ Copyrights are their Lobbyists pressing DC hard-core to pass this law. One must, then, ask why? How does it serve them?

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#50 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

Wade – ummm, no? I certainly hope that your comment is not just spam, since it has nothing to do with my blog post.

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#51 
Written By Diedra Holley
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

Excellent! Thank you for explaining this so well. I am an author (pagan and non-pagan), though I self pubbed the first book, but that really doesn’t change much. It takes months, sometimes longer, to get the query letters just right, to do all the research to find the right agent, the right publisher, and there isn’t much in it for those of us that actually did the writing! I make about 59 cents on each print book sold and about $1.39 for each ebook sold. It took a LONG time to get everything going.

I have recently “started over” with my first book because I want to revise it and republish it traditionally.

I do, however feel the pain when I go shopping for Kindle books and see they cost as much as, if not more than, the printed version. I have issues with a 25 dollar ebook that is 10 dollars in print. I just don’t buy ebooks that cost more than 9.99, and I won’t even buy those if they are within 2 dollars of the printed version. I feel they should be cheaper, but not free.

Thanks for a great blog and explanation.

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#52 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

Diedra – and others – where are you seeing these ebooks that are $25 compare to $10 in print?? I’ve never seen this before, unless perhaps you’re talking $25 ebook from the publisher and $10 paperback, used or third party… really? Are people doing that? It’s quite the opposite here.

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#53 
Written By Adrian Hawkins
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

Elysia,

This is one of the best examples I have seen.

http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Story-Dresden-Files-No/dp/045146379X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325819391&sr=8-1

The current price as of today for the hardback is only 2.22. The Current price difference between the ebook (14.99) and the paper back (9.99) is 5.00.

Why would I buy the kindle edition at all?

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#54 
Written By Wade MacMorrighan
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

Elysia, no, ’twas not SPAM. I am sincerely concerned about the new SOPA internet-censorship law and its draconian global impacts (many of these large parent companies have offices in several other companies, and one in the US tried to demand that the US extradite a British citizen for prosecution for alleged copyright violation, recently!), which many big-name publishers are unfortunately getting behind, such as HarperCollins. So, considering all that I’ve read about this un-American piece of legislation this week, it has me on pins and needles every time that I happen upon a Blog or article that seems to be touching upon the subject of on-line piracy.

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#55 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

I think this is fodder for another whole blog post – but if I posted on this, Amazon might remove our “buy” buttons from their website, lol!
What you are seeing there are Amazon prices, which they set at will, regardless of what they are paying the publisher. The hardbacks’ official price is $27 – but Amazon is selling it for $17 to undercut its competitors, and its third party affiliates are selling used and/or new copies for $9. Meanwhile the paperback isn’t even out yet and Amazon has the sale price set at $9.99. I don’t know if you noticed, but it doesn’t come out till August 2012. That gives Amazon lots of time to keep selling the Kindle book for $14.99, until they slash the price again when the paperback comes out.

The Kindle edition price is set by Amazon only, so you can’t even see a “list” price for it – the publisher has no input WHATSOEVER. Amazon pays them the wholesale price and then charges whatever benefits them most at the moment.

I realize that for the consumer it all comes down to “what is the cheapest” – but as I’ve tried to express in this post on piracy, price is not the only factor, by far! And in your example it’s all about how Amazon manipulates the market, which publishers and authors have ever decreasing control over.

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#56 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

OK Wade, understood. Well, Llewellyn can’t afford lobbyists, so I’m sure we have nothing to do with getting behind internet censorship laws.

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#57 
Written By Diedra Holley
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

I would also like to add that markwting is MURDER on the pocketbook. For anyone to even KNOW your book is out there to pirate it means that the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of hours and dollars spent did at least some of their job. That in itself should be proof enough that the books should be paid for.

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#58 
Written By Diedra Holley
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

Elysia, the example given of the Dresden Files book is just one. It happens most often on newly released books by big name authors. It isn’t supposedly used copies either. I see it all the time on Amazon.
I know those “used” copies are just a way for them to undercut everyone else though. I know because they claimed to have someone with 10 used copies a week before the book was even printed!

Because I self pubbed my “green” book and did not allow the publisher to put it into kindle format (I did it myself), I am able to set the price for my kindle book, but I have no say in the price charged for my print book. I think they charge too much for it, but only republishing it will correct that.

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#59 
Written By dontcensormebro
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

thank you for leaving post – i agree people should not profit off others copyrighted works illegally however downloading and reading a copy of any book is always covered by “Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.” – if you feel like researching or reporting or criticizing or just scholarly pursuit of any copyrighted piece of work it is NEVER illegal to obtain a copy of that work for those purposes.

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#60 
Written By Elysia
on January 5th, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

I deal with public domain and fair use every day, bro! Don’t try to tell me. Also, as I said in my first comment, that is not what the post was about. There was a website uploading more than 30 of our books. For free. Not for commentary, criticism, news reporting, or anything else. That’s just plain illegal. Case closed, and sorry, I don’t welcome your comments anymore.

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#61 
Written By BTRIPP
on January 6th, 2012 @ 12:51 am

This is being discussed over on LiveJournal: http://pagan.livejournal.com/1756967.html … I just put in my 2¢ as a former publisher.

And, to echo comments above, it is a fairly common experience to see the Kindle edition priced above the “dead tree” edition over on Amazon!

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#62 
Written By Drew Jacob
on January 6th, 2012 @ 2:10 am

I’m a firm believer that piracy is an issue of market conditions. Most people will pay for a legitimate copy of something they want, if given the opportunity.

If not given the opportunity, they will take a free illegal copy.

Does Llewellyn make all of these books available as ebooks on Amazon and other digital vendors? If so, the demand for these pirated versions will dwindle.

If you refuse to digitize your product, you can count on a pirate to do it for you. It doesn’t make it right, but it’s a given – so a smart publisher sells ebooks as well as hard books.

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#63 
Written By Nick Farrell
on January 6th, 2012 @ 2:29 am

Yes it is bad out there, but the law is there and it can be used to hit the various websites holding the material.
I have personally issued five DCMA takedowns for different Llewellyn books I have written. ISPs consider it normal and really it needs to be the first thing (not the second or third thing) which needs to be done to protect content. But really it is what the publisher should have been doing, and not the author.
Anyway the publishing industry needs to learn from the Music industry and there are some valuable lessons here. Firstly you are not going to stop piracy while the product’s price is too high (piracy is highest in poorer countries) and publishers in general have missed the boat with ebooks (content which costs pennies to make, with the author still getting a tiny percentage being sold at a price which is the same as a hard copy is insane). Lastly don’t waste time trying to educate users because they will not be educated. If it is more convenient to pirate they will do, the publishers have to make it inconvenient by closing down distribution points and that is what the DCMA is for.

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#64 
Written By Mike Magee
on January 6th, 2012 @ 2:29 am

Tell me about it. I have never had a penny out of my Indian publishers, and have been fortunate enough to even have had my MSS pirated out there. And as for my web site, it’s being filched all the time.

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#65 
Written By Daniel
on January 6th, 2012 @ 3:46 am

I can see both sides, I dont advocate steeling books, but I also like to know what I’m buying, I have a “compleat book on candy making” that set me back a fair penny, that is mostly instructional on how to dip things in chocolate, and I totaly agree that’s part of candy making, that is far from what I was looking for. So it’s a nice book, it’s finely bound and the cover is nicely embossed, but I realy dont care for it.

So in my frustration I went and downloaded 10 books on the subject, guess what, off them all I only cared for two, and I was happy to go buy the one that is still in print and easily had, the other “a treaties on the art of sugar boiling” is hard to find at any price, and copyright 1864 I bealive. So in that case without the modern sharing, the information in that tome of confectionary knowledge could be forever lost.

I did erase the other books being of no use to me. And in owning a honest copy of the one I feel no shame in keeping the digital copy to read at my conveyance. The other, being both hard to find and of great cultural value, would be legal to copy anyway, additionally the copyright is ever so slightly expired.lol

Just some thoughts on the subject for better or worse, thats how I shop for meny odd instructionals now, but I do honestly buy those I find useful and sease to use those I do not.

As far as the type of book you write, I wait, and buy them from you at an event, and get the best value… as that includes autograph and a handshake.

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#66 
Written By Jenny
on January 6th, 2012 @ 4:06 am

It appears many of my thoughts were addressed in the comments.

I’ve encountered many situations on Amazon where the kindle edition is pricier than the paperback. This is a new phenomenon that I’ve read (can’t find the link offhand) is actually being investigated as some sort of backroom deal between Amazon and big publishers. I may just be spreading rumors with that, I’ll admit since I can’t find my source.

I’m also concerned about the SOPA legislation Wade mentioned, but I realize it’s a separate (though very entangled) topic. Since the bill is entitled “Stop Online Piracy Act,” it’s much like the Patriot act, in that it says one thing to evoke certain thoughts; but its actual stated powers and actions are quite contrary to the name. Or at least, there is a sinister side to the bill beneath it’s benevolent title and idealism.

Like so much legislation, it sounds good, but it wouldn’t actually solve the problem, and creates many new ones.

Much like the first dissenters against the patriot act had uninformed individuals questioning their patriotism; SOPA dissenters are questioned as supporting piracy. When in both cases, it’s the bill’s content, not it’s idealism, the dissenters oppose.

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#67 
Written By Trish
on January 6th, 2012 @ 7:19 am

Not to send the conversation onto a different topic, but I agree with Adrian and disagree with Elysia on ebook pricing because ebooks aren’t fully “owned”. They are merely licensed and there are all sorts of restrictions to the license such as not being able to resell it and not being able to lend it more than once, and then for only two weeks. So for this reason, and not for the fact that they are not physically produced, they should be priced significantly lower than physical books (no less than 33%). The only “ownership” one has to an ebook is that one “owns” the right to read it. I’m totally against pirated books, btw, and I love all Llewllyn authors, especially those of my friend, Margaret Lembo!

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#68 
Written By Catherine
on January 6th, 2012 @ 7:21 am

Great post, Elysia. I’ve dealt with numerous websites infringing my copyrights and served multiple DMCA Take Down Notices which I did through Google – the stolen content was gone within a week. Google were great. I always notify their ISP also.

I’m ruthless about it as, like you said in your post, I spend hours researching, writing, editing and creating my own images for each post. I provide that content for free reading on my blog but I certainly do not provide it so that someone else can make money from it.

Some are only misguided about internet usage, but the others are underhanded, unethical and should be dealt with swiftly and fully. If you saw some of the email exchanges I’ve had with these sites you’d cringe.

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#69 
Written By Trish
on January 6th, 2012 @ 7:28 am

I just noticed the Dresden files book topic. Some ebook pricing is set by the publisher, as is in this case. Please note that Amazon clearly states on the page where they sell the kindle version:
Sold by: Penguin Publishing
This price was set by the publisher

Also B&N sells it for the same price, because they are forced to do so by the publisher. Amazon places this disclaimer because it wants to point fingers at the publisher for the high price. Amazon would LOVE to sell this book @ $9.99 because that’s an ebook’s “sweet spot”. They would sell loads and loads of them. People tend to balk at $14.99 ebook pricing of novels.

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#70 
Written By Paolo
on January 6th, 2012 @ 8:56 am

This is very important and I agree with this wholeheartedly.

I do have one point to make regarding pricing for the Kindle edition (or any e-edition) of a book. The only difference between an ebook and a paper book is the media in which it it presented. The same amount of work which has gone in to researching, writing and formatting a paper book goes into an e-book as well. On that basis perhaps we should ask why so many ebooks are so cheap and that perhaps we should all be prepared to pay more for it on that basis, since surely all the people doing the same work should be equally compensated.

With ebooks the niceness is the fact that we can all squeeze many books into a small portable device, not necessarily their cheapness. I am sure that over time, once everyone uses a kindle or similar device prices will rise.

I feel that the digital age in many ways cheapens knowledge too much so we do not appreciate the work which has gone into an ebook as much as we do (or should) into a paper book and this is as true for a paperback it is is from an exquisitely bound item from one of the Talismanic publishers.

The bottom line however is Elysia is correct and piracy is theft which is only going to damage the people who write and publish the books in the first case. Do it enough and they will stop. If the “pirates” were instead to concentrate their energies on (legally) reproducing those long out of print books which are out of copyright it would take the same amount of work and we might all even pay them for it enriching everyone.

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#71 
Written By GardenStone
on January 6th, 2012 @ 9:57 am

On pagan moots I’ve got several times a pirated copy offered of books I wrote myself. Those people didn’t know I was the author. I refused, telling I had the printed book already at home, and asked what they think how the author would see this. They told me, they were sure that he didn’t mind. Then I asked if they liked the books. Both answered: “Oh, I haven’t read it myself, they’ve too many pages.”
I left….. couldn’t do anything but laughing…. rather helplessly.

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#72 
Written By Lorna Tedder
on January 6th, 2012 @ 9:59 am

Thank you for such a well-written post, Elysia! I’ve asked this pirate to remove my book twice now in the past 24 hours and was assured the first time that no harm was intended because the original material might disappear from the web (it’s for sale on my website and on Amazon, dingbat, so stop puting it on YOUR server)and that she has graciously linked back to the publisher site because we’d “kindly” donated it to them. UNTRUE. She’d also told me she’d removed the reference but instead has restated on the site that the copyright has been approved???? I guess it’s okay to steal from my children and me if you can verify that we own the material you’re stealing.

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#73 
Written By Raven Dane
on January 6th, 2012 @ 10:32 am

What an excellent and well thought out article…thank you! I am a pagan and a traditionally published author of dark fantasy. What I earn from my books is not life changing but years of hard work have gone into writing my books and I expect people to pay to read them. I happily pay to go the movies, theatre, sports events or hire a dvd.I pay a tutor to teach me Spanish. Why should a book be any different as a form of entertainment or enlightenment.
Bright Blessings,
Raven

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#74 
Written By Lark
on January 6th, 2012 @ 10:51 am

Thank you for an excellent article. This has long been a gripe of mine and I have in the past e-mailed several authors to let them know when I found pirated internet copies of their books.

I remember being on a message board from Australia years ago and found they were publishing chapters of Ray Buckland’s Big Blue Book. I cautioned them about copyright violation and was then called every name in the book. I was also told that this information should be available to everyone for free and that the author would approve if he knew about it. I notified Mr. Buckland who did not approve at all. The site was then told in no uncertain legal terms to remove the information.

I think that all of us have an obligation not only to not use pirated materials, but also to report egregious use of such materials on the internet.

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#75 
Written By Laurie Gerholz
on January 6th, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

Thank you for a very well-written article. I’d known some of this, some was new, and it’s all put together in a clear, readable manner.

And thank you and all of the commenters who spoke about “information should be free” as in ACCESS. So many excellent statements for rebuttals.

Just wanted to return to a small side point, the matter of how pagan and occult books are historically big targets for thieves from the public libraries. My librarian friends inform me that it’s more that the thieves want to assure that *no one else* can get at the material, not that they’re using it themselves. Public libraries have always been strapped for cash, more so now than ever. Even less chance now that they can afford to replace such stolen works.

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#76 
Written By Juggle
on January 6th, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

Sorry, but PDF copies will always be in my collection. I don’t have time to hunt down some books that are extremely rare/pricey. I don’t read novels, I read books on Occult philosophy. If I do enjoy a book I download, and it’s abundant, then I will purchase it. Otherwise, no. The Law is for All. As far as I’m concerned, most of this knowledge shouldn’t be payed for anyway.

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#77 
Written By Hauk
on January 6th, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

Well said. I’ve had a lot of pirates tell that they steal my music to HELP me- it provides me with new fans and promotion, so when I go on tour, I can sell them merchandise.

Except, without the original CD sales- there is no money to either tour or print merchandise, and all I’m left with is the bill for the recording process, which is frequently in the thousands of dollars.

Some people just don’t get it.

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#78 
Written By Andrieh Vitimus
on January 6th, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

First, let me say I am Llewellyn Author. I’ve seen my book pirated a few times. I dont make that much per book and in a real honest sense it has caused me to re-think writing another one, although I will this year ( there you go Elysia). Those people who know me, know this is not because I have nothing to say but actually because of the low return on investment, I might as well give the materials away or just focus on person to person magical development. Its not that I do not have other books in me or dont have a lot to say…Simply put it matters, its in the authors thinking… Even with my private school, Quantum Life Science Institute, there are several projects which could be ADVANCED books that we are working out. Thats right advanced materials, and partially because of the piracy issue we ask,, SHOULD we release this at all?

Thats the real actual chilling effect this has.

Regardless of what people say, the same people who pirate books almost NEVER pay for in person classes, or buy a CD. IT simply does not happen. Even taking the radical advice of putting a anonymous button on my page, where if people pirated my book, they could donate some money to me ( with no questions asked about the donation).. and I would promise to use that money to fund research materials for the next book… Thats not fair to the publisher, but I did it as an experiment.

The money got from that advice was $0. Thats right 0 dollars… So much for the ethical pirate straw man argument.

What this is fighting is a culture of entitlement and the idea that spiritual things should be free. There are many like myself that are successful, that might decide not to write another book because of that. No author I personal know, and I run a radio show at http://ddtrh.com and meet lots of authors… are rich. They do it because they want to share, but the idea of fair exchange is all gone.

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#79 
Written By Elysia
on January 6th, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

Great comment, Andrieh! Pirates, read that, and think about whether you want authors to just throw in the towel and stop writing just because of your selfish actions!

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#80 
Written By David Bockenkamp
on January 6th, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

I gotta say that I agree. I work in the film industry as well as the music industry (I’m in the indie world of it all) and I think it utterly sucks to have something like piracy happen. Especially for people in the indie world. It hurts too hard, and at a certain point, you have no money to be able to make things that people are getting for free. Also, potential big names could see what kind of sales you have, and if that amount is rather low, they won’t consider you at all for anything. It hurts way too much. Funny enough, I had this argument with someone who pirates everything, and his “job” is playing guitar in a bar for tips. I had to laugh at that. Also, it’s good to read what Elysia had to say with books, as I’m planning to write an occult book myself.

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#81 
Written By Beth Hansen-Buth
on January 6th, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful post, and the wonderful Q&A format that spells out why copying is stealing no matter what. The same rules apply to artists, and we get pirated constantly on the internet, and quite often for profit. Thank you for your service to authors and artists in writing this thoughtful article.

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#82 
Written By BTRIPP
on January 6th, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

Since nobody seems to be running over to LiveJournal to see the discussion there, I figured I’d re-post what I said there in this thread:

People have such an unrealistic view of the publishing business. I did a post on the subject a few months back … http://bit.ly/yxu4tj

It’s hard to believe, but the average newly-published book in the USA only sells 500 copies, and only 2% of all books published each year sell as many as 5,000 copies. Considering how little per copy most authors get paid, the top 2% of authors would be lucky to get a couple of thousand dollars, the rest (unless they got an amazing deal with a big advance) barely make anything.

When I ran Eschaton Books, I strongly encouraged our authors to go out and do readings/signings/events on their own. I’d send them copies, which they’d get at a discount from the wholesalers’ price, and they’d be able to sell the books to the bookstore at their regular wholesale discount, and the authors would make the mark-up that the wholesalers would normally get (about 15%) plus the discount I was giving them, meaning they’d be getting about 20% of the cover price. This was a lot better than getting 10% of whatever the wholesalers paid for the book (which would have worked out to under 5% of the cover price).

It’s always best, if possible, to buy books and music directly from the author/musician or their web site. Sure, it’s easier to get it from Amazon, but they get the deepest discounts from anybody in the book publishing food chain, something like 66% off of cover, so a book sold via that channel is likely to only net the author 3.4% of cover, meaning for a $25 book, they’d only be making 85¢ … and quite possibly less. A book that was bought directly from one of our authors (and again, I don’t know what sort of discounts other publishers offer, this is the deal we had in place), and not sold via a store, would have given them 60% of cover, making $15.00 on a $25 book!

Needless to say, this is a HUGE difference, so I always recommend getting books/music direct if you can.

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#83 
Written By Elysia
on January 6th, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

Hi BTRIPP! I actually did read the LJ discussion and thought it was very good – but since I don’t have an account I couldn’t (or didn’t try to figure out how to) post there. Thank you very much for contributing to the conversation over here too!

I agree that if products are bought directly from the author, they get to keep more profit. Same goes for buying from the publisher rather than a bookstore, which gets a significant discount off the cover price. HOWEVER… in a small community like ours, I feel it is equally important to support our local independent bookstores! Especially metaphysical ones. They are truly a boon to our communities and we want to keep them happy and well-fed as well!

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#84 
Written By Debi K Baughman
on January 6th, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

I am glad that you posted this. last year I read a clip somewhere that a site was putting up free book content for people where they were collecting old books and such for people to be able to read. From the sounds of it I thought that they meant old stuff and material that had been approved by the author. Perhaps not, because what you are saying sounds like it could have been that same site, although there was not a link to the site.
Right now there is concern going around that we are going to be looking at more control and punishment for first time offenders of piracy, but even more, simply of linking to other peoples sites or quoting shared info from other peoples works even for ‘brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews’on blogs and such, even with proper credits being given. This would make it very difficult to share and give references, something that readers require to believe anything a writer may be trying to get across.
I totally understand the concern of piracy and theft. It is a wrong as any other kind of theft. However, I have often had a problem with finding information and books that are written for the sake of the SurVIval of our land and our people and then find that it is priced so much higher then a lot of the other books that are written for entertainment and/or the teaching of ‘hidden mysteries’ and such. I do not have anything against charging for spiritual material or ‘hidden mystery’ material, and often have felt guilty buy books used, knowing that the author may not be getting paid for these books that are making the second hand circuit, but…I ‘Feel’ as though, if a book is written for the planetary survival and continuance of our species, the author would want to make certain that the pertinent information would be available to all regardless of their economic ability and status. Even on Kindle i have found these books to be more expensive then buying other peoples hardcopies. I appreciate the time spent for all of the above that you have quoted, as well as the free sites, but it does cause me to wonder more about the validity of the information (given for the sake of our very survival)and thus more hesitant to accept the truth of what they are speaking, especially in terms of information given that would help people know how to face the dangers and threats that we may face in coming days. Not that i mind supporting the writer or the publisher…I don’t…I love the fact of supporting my teachers and those who get the information out, but, as I said above i do question the sincerity, as stated above in these instances.

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#85 
Written By Tabatha Cicero
on January 6th, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

Great post Elysia!

It always amazes me that some people feel entitled to steal our work (not to mention the time, effort and money it takes to produce a book). Self-righteous pirates who steal our work (and in reality they are stealing the food off our tables and out of the mouths of our families) with the pathetic “information should be free” argument, are hurting the very people whose ideas they pretend to respect.

I would really like to ask these pirates why they think THEIR work shouldn’t also be free: Hey Pirate, are you a computer programmer? Computers are all about the storage of information. Why should YOU get a pay-check? You should just work for free. In fact, anybody whose work has anything to do with computers, networking, IT, etc, should just work for nothing.

Heck, why should we stop at “information”? Why should we have to pay for food. People gotta eat, so farmers should just give away all their produce…

Sorry to rattle on and on, but like most authors, I get tired of being ripped off by sanctimonious thieves.

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#86 
Written By Debi K Baughman
on January 7th, 2012 @ 12:15 am

I just read through a few more of the comments where you, Elysia and others have mentioned how Amazon set the prices on the Kindle (as well as book) at often higher prices then the publisher (or Author) would like. This answer my questions on that.

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#87 
Written By Scott
on January 7th, 2012 @ 1:59 am

“the knowledge shouldn’t be Payed away.”

nice and what do you do for a living? I’m going to go steal directly from your trade, your personal business and see how well ya do.

*okay not really but that’s a pretty selfish stance to consider that someone wrote, and spent often time more than a year gathering information, practicing, teaching, applying, redressing.

I’d get their IP and report them.

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#88 
Written By Gds
on January 7th, 2012 @ 5:38 am

I’ve sat with this blog post for the day and surprised no one is mentioning the obvious. Please forgive and allow me to ask a sicere question

You said:

Like the universe itself, you are keeping energy in balance, in motion, in an unbroken chain, just as it likes.

This rant gives an incredible amount of energy to others stealing from you. Why put that energy out there?

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#89 
Written By Elysia
on January 7th, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

Thanks, Gds. Based on your comment (and my mulling the whole situation further overnight), I added a paragraph to my new blog post, “Deep Thoughts from a Book Pirater.” It goes like this:

I guess one of the reasons I have even bothered to post twice now about piracy (which is very old news) is that I have a sincere hope that at least our niche, spiritual community, unlike the masses of nameless Internet surfers downloading Nickelback, will see the value, ethics, and repercussions involved in this situation, and rise above others. I hope that Pagans, Wiccans and magicians of all stripes will fully support our small and fledgling community. I hope that Pagans, Wiccans, and magicians actually have superior ethics to others, guided by the Rede and the threefold law of karmic return. That is really the whole reason I am writing this post.

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#90 
Written By Tabatha Cicero
on January 7th, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

AMEN!

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#91 
Written By Oberon Zell
on January 7th, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

Thank you, Elysia; that is just excellent!

BB-OZ

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#92 
Written By Debi K Baughman
on January 7th, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

I have read your second blog, with letter, and I have to say, the idea of somebody posting Authors work in full without authors permissions is something that I find totally incredible. I myself have posted clippings from sites to show as reference to my work….until I found copyright notice to the entire site and have sought permissions to use it.
I have found sites where authors have shared their whole books on their own blog for free to read….
even the idea that somebody would pull unpublished works that have been given as a gift for free, and publish them on their own sites with-out that authors permission is priacy, imo, even if it has not been published for money it is still the authors work and deserves permissions. I know that I would hate to think that somebody would think that they had the rights to my own original works, beyond using short clips for fair share discussion and purposes, especially when most blogs include a comment section or e-mail where the author can be contacted. It might be nice to know that ones work is considered important enough to share, but there is always a way to get in touch with author personally if one wants to make their work more publick. You have included, and these comments have shed much light on the fair share and other laws. My own work has been pulled from my blogs for updating and legalizing….only being put out there freely so that I could share material that was important for the publick to know and be aware of some of the ‘brain piracy’ that seems has gone around a lot….everywhere…as though one has complete rights to another persons brain to use as they see fit! Unimaginable but true. However, as important as I felt and still believe my work was, i would not appreciate its being stolen in full with-out permission. Thus I can understand an authors anger and feelings of being violated to have somebody steal their work and use it as indiscriminately as you have been describing. I hope you message goes out loud and clear and more viral. Don’t do it.

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#93 
Written By Debi K Baughman
on January 7th, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

I do have a question that I have been wondering since I began reading your article and comments. Although I doubt very much that anybody has used my own personal and original works with-out my knowledge, they did contain material that, as I have said is in process of gaining permissions, but…..
Theoretically, if somebody did steal and re-publish elsewhere with-out permissions and after I’d pulled them off of my blog, with the stories still containing containing the work with-out copyright permissions, who would be held in contempt for this? If I had not given permission for their usage and was in process of gaining copyright permissions, would I be held in contempt, even though I have removed content, or would the pirate be held in double contempt? The thing is one of these copyright laws that i am seeking is from a very larger entity/corporation and i would certainly hate to find myself facing them in court. Any thoughts on that?

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#94 
Written By Marcus Katz
on January 8th, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

Hi Elysia

As a published author and forthcoming author with Llewellyn (“Around the Tarot in 78 Days”, May 2012 and “Tarot Face to Face”, Sep 2012) with my co-author Tali Goodwin, we entirely agree with your blog post. I was inspired to write my monthly column yesterday on the same subject in “Magical Light” magazine, and entitled it “Pagan Pirates: Why They Are Keeping You Stupid”.

And guess what? The very next day we had it happen again! Someone using material in an online course without thought or attribution from one of our recent books. When requested, they offered to remove the material, so long as *we* identified which bits they had copied … as if I could stop my writing and teaching schedule to help them undo what they had just admitted they had done … unbelievable.

I loved BTRIPPs points, and I wrote something similar, about the realities of authoring, on our TarotSpeakeasy.com Blog (“So You Want to be a Tarot Author?”) and in that recent “Magical Light” column. The more pirate sites that get discouraged and shunned, the better for everyone. It’s otherwise simply making it harder to put out innovative and considered material, and forcing us to “hide” our material inside workshops, private courses, membership-only sites and 1:1 tuition.

Thank you for adding your considerations and sparking debate in what will no doubt be a continuing issue this decade.

Marcus Katz

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#95 
Written By Jeanne
on January 10th, 2012 @ 3:56 am

Legal and moral considerations notwithstanding, I don’t see why anybody would want pdf’s of books. Few things are more migraine-inducing than reading a pdf of just a few pages, let alone one with hundreds of pages. Even pirating mp3′s makes some sense, because an mp3 is enjoyable. Reading a pdf isn’t.

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#96 
Written By marco
on January 19th, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

I dont want to upset the authors but many of these authors are providing religiouse text and i am sure their are laws protecting rights of inderviduals to practice and learn about all religions now since most book in question are bias towards pagans and their practices they are designed to influance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_on_religious_works
so we have to show some balance many good pagans will use online books for research but will also delete and buy the book in the end even if they are only second hand.
Now i have books which where passed down to me many of which i have passed on and they have been passed on the author has never gained from this we live in a digital age may be its time that that publishers took more control and produced digital product which where free online or cost to download with discounts to users that download digital version that buy a hard copy pirate copy will not stop unless authors and publishers meet the demand.
we also have to remember that if it on the web somewhere it is in the public domain rightly or wrongly but if we want an internet that is open we have to put up with it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act i am sure that many authors use youtube and share other users posts on facebook so unless they are purer than pure a little piracy does help spread the word of their book leading to sales sure at its most basic a point of 6 or 3×3 no pagan worth their salt would ever use a download for ritual work but if a book is of value they will buy it.
The biggest question is did you write to inform and teach or did you do it to make a buck ?????
if it for a buck then you deserve to be ripped off coz your not doing what the goddess and god wants the goddess/god gave you knowledge so you could share not for you to profit

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#97 
Written By Anastasia Haysler
on January 23rd, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

Elysia – Thank you, thank you! I cannot tell you how many times I have had this argument with people; how many DCMA requests we’ve had to issue; and how many people have told me we should be “flattered that someone liked it enough to pirate it.” If you like it, buy it!

It’s hard enough these days with constant price pressure from people who are accustomed to an automatic discount from shopping Amazon; losing money to pirated copies is an even harder issue, as at least one can deal directly with Amazon for setting some prices.

We’re all connected by the economic benefits of our media production, and we’re all affected by the economic loss of pirating. We have employees, our vendors and retailers have employees, and everyone is just trying to make a living and keep their companies going.

When people tell me we shouldn’t mind the pirated copies “because it can’t cost you that much”, I ask them how they’d like to have their paycheck reduced 30% for doing the same amount of work and have the same amount of bills to pay. That tends to bring the conversation to a halt pretty quickly.

Thanks for a clear and concise posting.

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#98 
Written By Fae'o
on February 4th, 2012 @ 3:09 am

I personally liked this-
“But I wasn’t even sure I would like it, so why pay money on it?”
‘In today’s book-buying world, that is no longer an excuse. ‘

And to that I would like to add, often, if people are paying attention to what they’re looking for, go to the publisher’s website, Often there will be enough sections one can preview, that you can easily see whether or not it will be of interest to you. And then, as mentioned, the writing styles, and friend recommendations, all that stuff is reason enough to Walk The Talk.

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#99 
Written By Danya D. Smith
on February 10th, 2012 @ 9:41 am

I have been taught to support with my consumer dollar. If I really love a piece of music, I buy it. If I love an author’s body of work, I buy the new book and don’t worry about the money I spent if it turns out I didn’t like it. I didn’t pay to like something… I paid to read it. I was an early adopter of eBooks and will frequently buy both paper and digital copies of books. I do so not because I’m made of money, but because the different formats offer unique benefits that I’m willing to pay for (though I wish I could buy the book once as a bundle w/ a print copy and multiple digital formats). I also do it to support communities that are dear to me that I want to continue to exist.

There are some really unhealthy attitudes about money and commerce in a lot of spiritual communities, unfortunately. People who have money are often looked upon with suspicion and distrust. There is also the belief that there is something holy and pure about poverty. I say whatev to all of that thinking. Thanks for such an empassioned and constructive post.

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#100 
Written By neha
on March 19th, 2012 @ 4:19 am

i have received two pirated books when i placed order online.pls suggest what to do.

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#101 
Written By Theyann PentaGram
on May 4th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

I say that Knowledge SHOULD and MUST be FREE, however all these (Llewellyn’s) authors must live and have income from somewhere. Furthermore, these authors are researching on various topics so that their readers could read something of pure quality. If a reader do not support their author with PURCHASING the his/her book, who else will?
BUT, I am also for publishing both in PDF for free download and in print for buying a book. I have my books published both ways, and I am happy and satisfied with it.
Many Blessings for All!

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#102 
Written By Gilbert Warda
on May 8th, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

Don.. Gilbert here from Australia..

I know of the site your are speaking of.

I could not believe how many books are on that page plus videos which I feel is ok.

And your Books Modern Magick + tarot etc..

are very easy to get from 4shared + filestube

It takes under a minute to find them and download on Google.

IF there is one book in my Opinion amongst others that is too good to be free is Modern Magick.

I have emailed you early this year about how I acquired that incredible Book. IF you remember it was out of my budget the day I first saw it. Then a week later the price was marked down because someone or somehow the book was slightly damaged.

Your Student Down Under…

Gilbert

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#103 
Written By ltooley
on May 19th, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

When Copyright Protection Becomes Public Domain

The data below will let you know when you can safely use a piece of art or music without permission because it is now in public domain after copyright protection expiration, or how long the copyright protection will last.

Published before 1923 – now in public domain

Published from 1923 to 1963 – When published with a copyright notice © or “Copyright [dates] by [author/owner]” – copyright protection lasts 28 years and could be renewed for an additional 67 years for a total of 95 years. If not renewed, now in public domain.

Published from 1923 to 1963 – When published with no notice – now in public domain

Published from 1964 to 1977 – When published with notice – copyright protection lasts 28 years for first term; automatic extension of 67 years for second term for a total of 95 years.

Created before 1/1/1978 but not published – copyright notice is irrelevant – copyright protection lasts for the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2002, whichever is greater

Created before 1/1/1978 and published between 1/1/1978 and 12/31/2002 – notice is irrelevant – copyright protecion lasts the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2047, whichever is greater

Created 1/1/1978 or after – When work is fixed in tangible medium of expression – notice is irrelevant – copyright protecion lasts for the life of author and 70 years based on the the longest living author if jointly created or if work of corporate authorship, works for hire, or anonymous and pseudonymous works, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation.

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#104 
Written By mist42nz
on May 30th, 2012 @ 2:15 am

information is and should be free.
books are not – books are work – work is not free.

You want free information, harvest it yourself. Don’t steal anothers’ harvest.

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#105 
Written By Lori
on June 4th, 2012 @ 10:49 am

I agree with others this is a great post – and a growing problem. I trip over this sort of thing a lot – a book I sell being available for free download. Glad to see others equally outraged about it and I certainly hope it helps others realize how much damage they are doing to the publishing industry and authors by doing it.

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#106 
Written By Chris Anderson
on June 20th, 2012 @ 7:22 am

This is a brilliant post – couldn’t be more correct in the way people think they can just rip off someone’s content that they may have worked on for years. Just because an author becomes a household name, or a book makes it to No1 in a chart, people presume (more often that not, wrongly) that they’re rich so they’re just “taking from ‘THE MAN’” It’s so infuriating.

Have a look at muso.com for assistance with publishing piracy – they search and remove files immediately at a really competitive price, and have years of experience in the music industry that they’re now using to combat piracy for publishers.

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#107 
Written By Daniel
on June 21st, 2012 @ 8:34 am

Information is free.

I see many people here are interested in books selling,
working in book publishing/authors etc.
Problem is with this pay-for-all books for people
living in eastern Europe countries/poor world areas,
where u get paid less then 3 dollars an hour,while paying for
your rent/food/life expenses.Living costs are similar to American ones for example.
Now lets say I am interested in occult knowledge.
I cant always see from a review what a book/author is
like,what level is his knowledge and willingness to share,
or even better,level of his current clarity of mind/sanity.
Since this is a thread about pagan/spiritual books,I just cant
understand all this angry talk about harming Authors,since you said they get something about 10% of
books price if they are not self publishing.
A spiritually mature author wont ever write his books
for money solely; He HAS to pass on his knowldege.Its his karma.
I dont say we shouldnt support authors we like/respect
with what we can,but it is totally silly to me to expect
that EVERY single author be paid,from charlatans and
lunatics and ignorant to every possible kind of author out there.
Sorry but sea of occult/pagan literature/whatnot is too
big for my pockets.And quality fish are rare.And if u call my searching for knowledge stealing,reading 100 books to find one decent enough to be bought for my standards,then yes Im a thief
and thank you for admitting Hermes as a god of thieving.Even if majority of people here say information is
free but since “I wanna make money of information Im giving out”,it shouldnt be free.Too many contradictions.

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#108 
Written By Christopher
on September 11th, 2012 @ 9:52 am

In the past wars, greed and of course economic crisis have in the past 2000 years have destroyed so many works of spiritual knowledge. I wonder what works of occult literature might have been saved for everyone after world war II if there had been thousands of electronic copies floating around. Beyond occult literature what works of art, scripture, manuscripts might now be being published and consequently making new authors money as all the old authors and owners are long dead. Sometimes the Gods think long term, if the world economy doesn’t improve we all may be lucky to eat, let alone buy books. Some already live in that situation. Yes there are free alternatives but like many free alternatives they are lacking compared to those who can afford better. Support in a community works both ways, how are people in countries with abysmal economies or social situations supposed to realistically buy one book, let alone a library of books? In some parts of the world like the middle east and Africa possession of such books is literally a torture or death sentence crime. Its a heck of alot stealthier to use an e-reader than a large shelf or bag of books with crescent moons on them.

As occult authors you should know the axiom as above so below. Support must happen both ways.

Magicians, pagans and witches support your authors by buying every book you can afford. If possible go to festivals and events or better yet volunteer. All of my disposable income goes to books or spiritual tools and I am active in my community. My book collection is worth about $9,000 and I support out of my own pocket in group gatherings. I do not make much, I am in academia and its not exactly a gold rush right now.

I also support download sites because I know not everyone is so fortunate. Some people live lives the authors here cannot even imagine. Lives of serious and dangerous intolerance in places like Northern India. Central America and Eastern Europe are not always pagan havens either. Worse still, some governments ban the sale of occult books. So I support download sites, not for the pirate but for those who really do have a need of support from someone. I personally would like to see them legitimized to become more like online libraries but authors seem to not want that and of course pirates don’t want that.

Authors you expect your community to step up? Ok I will step up, I bought a book by your publishing house last week and I will buy another one this month, new.

Now you guys step up, work with the new technology so our brothers and sisters in the community like Daniel in Eastern Europe don’t get left behind. Subscription online viewing library, donate older classic texts (that as pointed out are literally everywhere and will remain so) or sell e-books at a discount in regions where the local dollar is low. I mean really, are those markets lucrative anyways?

Like so many current social trends, the war on drugs, the war on prostitution and the war on terror it just causes loss on both sides and those impoverished often bear the brunt of it. The Pagan authors I have been learning from by reading their books usually shake their heads at these ill conceived conflicts. But it sounds to me like you are sounding your own battle cry now. I wonder what the pagan community will be like if these DCMA requests are enforced upon users, will we suffer similarly with a portion of our small community in jail? Will this improve us in anyway? I think there has to be a better way forward.

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#109 
Written By Birgit
on December 18th, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

Thank you for the great posting on pirated books.

A friend of mine, who has crossed over to the summerlands (Ellen Cannon Reed), was an author with several books to her credit. Rich from the royalties? NO, far from it.

Downloading a pirated book from the internet is theft, pure and simple. True, the downloader may not be the original thief, but according to the copyright law, they are receiving stolen property. Theft is theft, whether you are doing it or you are just receiving it.

Do you really want the karma?

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#110 
Written By Julix
on December 22nd, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

When someone steals a book from a store, then the store looses that book. – When someone steals a book online, that he wasn’t going to buy otherwise, then nobody looses anything – but he gains something without giving anything in return.

Of course if the pirate reader would have otherwise bought it (which is more likely if you’re writing for a very specific target audience), and now won’t, because he already got the info he was looking for, then that is a big problem.

I don’t think it’s the “unfair” part of taking without giving that is the problem, it’s more a question of who then shall give to the author?

I mean if you could cook a magical meal that won’t ever run out (so you can keep serving it over and over) and will stay fresh and hot, but only until midnight (or any limited time), surely you’d let the hungry and poor eat for free, right? But it is possible that rich people might take it for free as well, because they can. – But who then shall pay for the next meal?

Research in psychology and business has shown that creative cognitive productivity isn’t helped by big money as a potential reward – it causes stress that distracts from the task. But too little money is also bad, because then the worker has to worry about how he’ll get by. It seems the best reinforcement is one that takes your mind off the reward, as not to distract during the work.

If the minimums were covered (say you got basic, functional clothing, healthy food & clean water, internet, basic housing, for free), all (if any) profits would be bonuses towards luxurious items etc. — And there are enough of those, things we want. You’d still have incentive to work, and get money for it, but no terrible consequences if you fail to do so.

If you’d depend on the money only for buying fancy things you like, would you still object to being paid by donation? Open-source software developing works like that, and I hear some musicians are breaking loose from the old music industry, to this form.

One more thought: in Germany (where I grew up) we had a problem with public transportation (because it was private, thus profit based): too few people used it, driving the price up, so it was expensive, but it wasn’t used much, because it was expensive to start with, and now used even less…

So yes, some of your books might only sell a few thousand copies now, but that doesn’t have to mean they wouldn’t be hugely successful if you made them available by donation. – I’m not saying they would either, I haven’t read any of your books, nor have I studied this piracy situation enough yet.

If I were you I’d include a paypal email address in the front of the book so that people know how they can send money directly to you, if they feel like it.

I put more time into the rant than planned, but I hope you take it the right way and maybe get something out of it.

Greetings from a stranger,
Julix

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#111 
Written By Eric
on April 17th, 2013 @ 1:51 am

I can’t defend pdf versions of books on the web.

I do have a theory why people are absconding with Llewellyn published books however.

Since so many of them are filled piss poor scholarship, fiction passed off as factual information and downright falsehoods, perhaps they feel they’re doing the Pagan community a service by removing this dreck from circulation before unsuspecting people read it and think it’s true.

Llewellwyn needs to do a better job vetting it’s authors and determine the veracity of the material they’re presenting in their books.

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#112 
Written By Elysia
on April 17th, 2013 @ 9:36 am

Dear Eric – when is the last time you read a new Llewellyn book? I can assure you that in the past 8 years that I’ve been here, I have been vetting, fact checking, rejecting, asking authors to rewrite, and so on. I’m sure if you gave us another chance you’d find very finely crafted and well researched publications with the moon logo on the side. :) Let me know what you’re interested in, and I’ll give you a few recommendations!

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#113 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on April 18th, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

Eric, without anything specific it’s impossible to either agree with you or disagree. I do know that Elysia (and other editors and readers with specialized knowledge) fact check proposed books.

I have a question for you: How many emails have you sent to Llewellyn concerning any books that you believe to be factually false. Did you include any documentation with that?

Further, I’m sure you’ve noticed that different history books, for example, give different interpretations of events. It’s possible that your sources are different that those of someone else and that neither of you are “wrong.”

Be that as it may, it sounds to me as if you’re still trying to justify theft. If you don’t like a book, don’t buy it. If you don’t want others to buy it, start a blog and let them know. If you want to help, if you find something factually untrue, send an email with documentation.

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#114 
Written By Lazar
on May 30th, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

Taking materials from Golden Dawn sources (which originated mostly in Europe) and materials from grimoire magic to be sold in America (and back to Europe…) with new copyright notices is worse than theft!

Many authors should be gratefull for free knowledge they get. They should remember that and just be quiet!

Dear D. M. Craig, have you ever pay for ideas, diagrams, rituals in your book Modern Magick, and all that is taken from Golden Dawn materials? No, you havent pay! Need to say more?

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#115 
Written By Lazar
on June 3rd, 2013 @ 11:03 am

And I am for good legal books!

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#116 
Written By Project_Winterisle
on June 6th, 2013 @ 10:46 am

What about the readers from the Arabic Countries where the sale of the most of the occult books, especially associated with Polyteism, is illegal itself due to the religious reasons, and those materials are absent in bookshops and libraries? Or some extremely poor backwater countryside of Christian countries where there ate also no such libraries and bookshops and the youth is not given enough money by parents to buy such ebooks? Internet piracy is the only available access to those materials in those countries and regions. I think some social engineering project is needed to do some political provocation and ideological subversion in those societies and piracy should not be excluded to create tensions and demand for such materials. If they think that we “spread mischief on earth” let we give them full ocean of this “mischief”.

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#117 
Written By Lazar
on June 9th, 2013 @ 2:32 am

Very interesting opinion from “Project_Winterisle” just above!

Great irony is that some of the most famous systems of magic originated in some Arabic or Middle Eastern Countries.

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#118 
Written By Brad
on October 28th, 2013 @ 11:46 pm

What about books that have already been purchased? There are books that I’ve bought multiple hard copies of over the years, is it still an act of piracy for me to download that specific book in PDF format? This is something I’ve been wondering about for a while.

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#119 
Written By kim thorne
on December 12th, 2013 @ 9:00 am

hi what sites are the pirate sites the reason why i ask is that i want to avoid them i dont want to accidentally end up on those sites.

i have respect for authors they work hard to put the books we love to read. and its not fair that their books are being pirated.

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#120 
Written By Lynda
on December 13th, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

I had no idea writers profited so little, nor that the cost to publishers and others was so small. I know ebooks have cost many people their jobs and I resent them myself. While I personally prefer hardcover, actual books to touch and hold, well made and well written, the idea of downloading or theft upset me for the authors loss and the many involved in it’s making it to the shelves of book stores. Mostly this stems from my refusal to enroll in the latest “gadget”on the market only to find a few years later it is impossible to use because “the machine broke” and is no longer sold.
I found the article both informative and fair. After reading the many justifications of some, for their theft of the work of others, I find it really hard to buy their excuses. In just the research for something I’m doing, I have paid for trips to interviews with people around the country, searched old public town halls, dug through the dust of old records stored in library store rooms, paid for copies of hospital records and on it went and it’s 10 years later. I’m still researching. While I’m not discouraged in my own quest for the truth, I’m appalled at the reasons given that I’ve read here for what can only be named a theft. Too many people have given excuses for their common theft without guilt. They have attempt to try and justify their own stealing with weak excuses. I wonder if they buy into these lame excuses myself. How can taking something that isn’t yours, regardless of what it is, anything but stealing? How are they not common thieves to themselves? Stealing defies everything decent regardless of beliefs or culture or circumstances. If someone lives in a place where this material is banned, or they are so poor, or have no Library, then how did they come to even know of the existence of this material, and why choose this material to steal? Does “Harm none” mean so little to them? They may justify their stealing, their theft in these responses, but if it is a book or a body organ, I have a feeling they know inside exactly what they’re doing and perhaps need the authors forgiveness, which rightfully should not be given. Something important is missing in humanity today. That something is common decency.
I own rooms of books I have purchased over my lifetime, but I would never presume to feel it was anything but theft to feel, “That if I bought the hard copy I should be able to steal another method of reading someones hard work”.( seriously??) Each of those who have stolen something and not paid it’s creator, have lost something inside themselves that these books will never give them. Perhaps they should do themselves a favor and seek help from a professional, and if not, then they should look within alone deeply. If what you seek isn’t in there to harvest, no book stolen or purchased will help them anyway.
The article was a valuable source of information. I thank the author for sharing this and her time, and I thank your company for the site. I enjoy the shared articles so much. I’m sorry you are out of the book I came in to look for today, but I hope this means you will restock it soon. As for the thieves, seriously, get help.

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#121 
Written By Janice
on January 8th, 2014 @ 9:23 am

I disagree. Most Pagan writers are just taking things they’ve learned from other books and putting it into their own books to make money. There is almost nothing original being written. Everybody wants to make money off witchcraft. Money is now what makes the Wiccan world go around. I hope that more and more people put “pirated” PDF books online for those of us who can’t afford to buy the books and feed the writers’ egos.

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#122 
Written By mist42nz
on June 9th, 2014 @ 2:57 am

information is free…. delivery and organisation (which is hard friggin work and financially risky) is not free.

and disagree with janice 121… yes there are authors who assemble and repeat. so don’t buy their stuff, preview it, then walk away. don’t buy it, don’t copy it, don’t distribute it. Instad promote the people and books they are copying from, buy them, give away copies you’ve bought, spread their names around so people can know the good from the less good.

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