Friday, February 10, 2012

Why Digital Piracy is Lending, Not Theft

Neil Gaiman tweeted a link to this article, which reiterates and expands on a point that Cory Doctorow, Lawrence Lessig, and many, many others have made before: people who download free copies of your books are typically finding something that they would not otherwise have found, and they end up buying your content if they like it. This means that "piracy" really looks a lot more like lending and/or advertising than it does like theft. In the embedded clip, Gaiman points out that when his publisher offered the digital version of one of his books for free, sales of the physical copies of the book went up by 300% the next month. That's a heck of a lift.

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