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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

eBook pirates condemned at Frankfurt Book Fair

Germany's book industry association is calling for tougher action against pirated copies of e-books.

Gottfried Honnefelder, head of the group that represents publishers and booksellers, said at the fair's opening news conference that around 60 percent of e-book downloads in Germany are pirated through Internet sources such as filesharing sites.

The e-book market remains tiny in Germany, with about 0.5 percent of the market. E-readers have not caught on as they have in the U.S., but there is plenty of potential there.

Some 7,400 exhibitors are expected for the fair Wednesday through Sunday, gossiping, sharing ideas, promoting their books, and trading in publishing and translation rights.

Iceland is this year's featured guest, with some 35 writers presenting their works.


Shayne Parkinson said...

I had my own small experience of piracy, and am mentioned in this Reuters article on the subject: In my case, lovely readers in the UK found the dodgy version and alerted me.

Joan Druett said...

Fascinating article, Shayne. Many thanks for pointing it out.

What happened after you discovered the copycat? Did Amazon remove it at once?

Shayne Parkinson said...

Amazon UK were very prompt indeed - I think it helped that several readers contacted their Customer Service to complain about the dodgy version (I contacted them too, of course). The reader who'd first noticed the issue had actually bought the illicit version - this is the book that I make available at no cost, by the way - she already had a copy, but had left her e-reader at home, and couldn't wait to carry on reading. :-) Once she realised she'd bought a dodgy version she got her money back from Amazon. took a little longer to investigate, but they were still quite fast at taking it down - only about a week, from memory. Too quickly for the miscreant to receive any payment for the copies he/she had sold.

Joan Druett said...

What an amazing story. Thank heavens your fans picked it up. How did Reuters hear about it?

Shayne Parkinson said...

Among the people the writer of the story contacted was Mark Coker, the CEO of Smashwords. Mark knew of my experience, so suggested Alistair contacted me. It was an interesting postscript to the whole experience!