Macmillan prez says piracy is biggest issue for digital publishers
January 26, 2010 | 11:00 am
By Paul Biba
–Janet Evanovich can get a CD of all of her books on eBay for $11.
–Sherrilyn Kenyon shows 29 hits on VUZE.
–All five of top fiction and non-fiction books available as pirated editions. Some of the hits have all of her books.
–28% of e-reader owners have used file sharing sites to download free e-books, according to a Verso study.
Piracy is the most important issue facing digital publishers, says Brian Napack, Macmillan president, and he cited the above examples at Digital Book World. Agree or disagree? Speak up in our comments area.
Napack said—remember these are his opinions—that piracy took a big chunk out of music business, where he spent a lot of time.
A college textbook called "Leinger, Principles of Biochemistry" was adopted all over, Napack said, but sales never took off because of piracy.
What can we do? Here’s Napack speaking: Piracy happens when motivation meets opportunity. Motivation: love of authors, genres; perceived high prices; lack of availability; restrictive formats; distain for media companies. Opportunity: more digital content; more file sharing sites, broad availability of titles, more pirate ready devices.
His plan: target facilitators – takedowns and lawsuits; target pirates – target individuals and companies; pursue legislation and enforcement; create viable consumer marketplace – implement consumer-friendly DRM; protect content in-house – most common stuff found is pre-publication manuscripts, found very few legitimate e-books have been hacked; protect content in the marketplace – DRM limit free and open e-book programs; engage in public education.
Napack’s key points: most common stuff found on line is pre-publication manuscripts; have found very few legitimately protected e-books have been hacked. Amazon Kindle has shown that people will pay for content.