I am not an online person, so whenever I want to buy books I walk down to a popular bookshop in my city, spend hours there reading, and end up buying many books at a time. That’s a treat I give to myself every month. However, one day a small book shop on the walking lane caught my attention and I happened to park my bike aside and walk-in. And guess what this tiny book shop was selling every possible book title you could imagine and even those that were temporarily not available in the big named stores. I was surprised and filled with joy and enthusiasm to buy all that I was not able to find elsewhere otherwise. To begin with, I picked up two books Poor Economics, and Homo Deus, the printed price of each said 499. As I was about to hand a good 1000, the owner said it’s just 400 for both these books. I thought I didn’t hear him well, but he took the books that I was holding and specifically wrote the amount on each book. He charged me 180 for Poor Economics and 220 for Homo Deus. That’s a whopping 40% discount. I was excited and promised to return to the same shop to buy books. As I reached home and opened these books, I found the print of a bit unusual, and paper of a different quality. I could hardly see any picture printed in Homo Deus, and in no time I realized that these are nothing but the pirated versions of these books. This very thought of buying books unknowingly from an unethical source brought me a not so good reading experience. On examining the quality of these books further, I found that even the copyright notes and the price stickers were duplicated the way. Same way, last year, attracted by low prices, I ordered a book from a popular Instagram account. As soon as I took the book in my hand, I knew it was not the original version that I was looking for.
Similarly, I came across many accounts and individuals on various social media platforms that have been selling books with heavy discounts and contributing to this whole big business of piracy. As per the Federation of Booksellers and Publishers Association of India, about 7000 crores publishing industries are affected by book piracy creating an annual loss of around 400 crores. This includes books from the bestselling authors, expensive books for studying medicine, textbooks, paid journals, and books from international authors. I understand that book piracy is a result of technological advancement. With access to high-quality printers, it becomes very difficult to find a difference between the original and duplicate versions of the book and anyone can run a small press to publish hundreds of books in a year. Book piracy is also a result of more demand than supply, high prices of the original books, greed for quick money, non-existence, or weak enforcement of the legal copyrighted work, and also when someone is simply not aware of the consequences of piracy.
The pirates illegally reproducing these books do not have to pay the publishers, authors, or the government, making them more and more confident about their misconduct. Also, to point out illegal downloads are prone to having viruses that could destroy your hard-drives and ruin computers. There are huge fines and penalties for written down in every country to curb piracy. I know that in today’s technically upgraded world where knowledge and information are made free, it becomes hard for some of us to afford expensive books and we are immediately enticed to turn to cheaper options. However, this approach certainly discourages authors, writers, and creativity as a whole as it becomes impossible to keep a count of their work sold and bring them the due returns for all their hard work.
Therefore, it’s a humble appeal to buy books as far as possible from an authentic source and publisher. If money is a problem, then you can explore the whole big market of used books. This will help to balance out things. Please form a habit to search journals, books, and articles from authenticated sources. Keep a good record of the sites, places from where you collect this information, and do not hesitate to report any kind of piracy you come across. Winged Fables as a community stands against book piracy and this video is our message towards our next steps in this direction.
I hope you found this information useful and will try to do your bit to support this cause taken by the WINGED FABLES community