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Joe Konrath Explains Why Authors Shouldn’t Fear File Sharing

From Joe Konrath Explains Why Authors Shouldn’t Fear File Sharing (Techdirt):

People want to share files. There is this much file sharing going on for a reason. It’s what people want. Fighting piracy is fighting human nature. This is a battle no one can win. Getting your undies in a bunch at the thought of someone copying your ebook is a waste of a good ulcer. Worry about some problem that eventually will be solved. Like world hunger. Or cancer. Or war. Those will be conquered before file sharing is….

There is ZERO reliable evidence that file-sharing hurts sales. A shared file does not equal a lost sale, any more than someone reading a library book is a lost sale.

Q: But Joe, if everyone steals your ebooks, how will you make money?

A: Show me an artist bankrupted by piracy, and we’ll revisit this question.

Q: No, seriously, in a future where everything is free, how will…

A: We’re not in a future where everything is free. But I’ll play the “let’s pretend” game. Let’s pretend that all ebooks are free. How will writers make money? The same way all media makes money. Advertising, merchandising, and licensing.

Q: But I don’t want ads in ebooks.

A: I don’t want ads in anything. But that’s how capitalism works. Deal with it.

And, from the same interview:

1. Copyright is unenforceable in a digital world. Period. Exclamation point. At no time in history has any individual, company, or industry been able to stop file sharing. No country or law has been able to stop it. No technology has been able to stop it. Which brings us to…

2. People want to share files. There is this much file sharing going on for a reason. It’s what people want. Fighting piracy is fighting human nature. This is a battle no one can win. Getting your undies in a bunch at the thought of someone copying your ebook is a waste of a good ulcer. Worry about some problem that eventually will be solved. Like world hunger. Or cancer. Or war. Those will be conquered before file sharing is.

[H/t Michael Barnett & Rob Wicks]

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