In very simple terms, piracy is the unauthorized use or reproduction of another’s work that is then sold at substantially lower prices in the market. In the context of publishing, that means the unauthorized use, reproduction and sale of an author’s writing or book. Piracy diverts money away from the original author and publisher into the hands of the pirate. The results are loss of income for the author, publisher and anyone else who has invested in the items being pirated.
Think about it, for every item reproduced illegally, there is income diverted away from a long chain of individuals who have invested in the production of that item – the writer, the proofreader, the editor, graphic artists, distribution teams, advertisers, PR employees, etc..
Piracy creates a ripple effect that includes making it difficult for authors and publishers to continue to create materials. Bad sales on a first book due to the activities of pirates means that it is tougher to produce the next book. As such, valuable materials don’t make it to the market at all. Schools and students are denied much-needed books. Consumers are denied valuable resources and entertainment (in the case of novels and story books). Piracy has a very crippling effect.
This is one clear reason why we need to encourage original authors and producers in tackling piracy. We need to patronise recognised distributors and sales channels, seek out authentic copies of books and other published material, and pay for those materials. That way, we help to keep the publishing industry standing and thriving. That way, we guarantee that more authors and writers will create more of the good and useful materials that we need or want.
It is important that the damaging effects of piracy are understood. It is also important to understand the consequences under the law. Anyone caught copying, reproducing and/or distributing illegal copies of books and other published works can be held liable under the law.
Let’s help fight piracy.