EeeeK! Pirates! Eeeek!

So, in addition to the whole Indie Vs. Traditional publishing kerfuffle going on there is also the “Pirates Are Stealing From Me And All Artists!” argument happening. I have watched quite a few conversations on Twitter and read a few blogs on the subject.

And guess what? I don’t care.

Yep, I said it. I do not care. And neither should you.

So what if your novel is being distributed on bittorent? Whoopdy-do! Is that hurting your sales? I don’t know. And guess what? NO ONE DOES! It is not quantifiable! NOT AT ALL!

So, suck it up, let it go and move the f&#k on! Really, just move on. The entire discussion is a waste of energy.

What? You’re still here? Well, okay, then let me continue!

Why is worrying about piracy a waste of energy? Because writers have been giving their books away for free since the dawn of time, people!

You’ve heard of these things called libraries, right? Big buildings with lots of books that people can check out for free? I really hope I’m not the only person that’s heard of libraries or this example is going to be worthless…

Anywhoo, in case you haven’t heard of a library this is what it is: a big building with lots of books that people can check out for free. Got it? Free. Wait…free? THEY MUST BE PIRATES!

And yet, libraries are a major part of our societal structure. Oh, wait, you have an argument? The “But Libraries buy the books first!” argument? You are correct, they do buy those books first. So do pirates, numbnuts! They can’t just copy and distribute air, now can they? Nope, someone had to buy that first copy and then create a torrent for it.Then people get it for free! Just like those mysterious libraries! Ooooh, scary!

Library example not working for you? How about this: have you ever bought a book then loaned it to a friend? You have? PIRATE! YOU’RE A FREAKIN’ PIRATE! YOU SHALL BE BLASTED FROM THE WATER LIKE THE MANGY CUR YOU ARE! DIE, PIRATE DIE!

(deep breath)

Yeah, I kinda went over the top on that, didn’t I? For good reason. You see, just like libraries, loaning books to friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, that cousin that always asks then ends up tearing the dust cover even though you warn him every freakin’ time and you try to give the book to him without the dust cover, but he just whines and whines and whines until you relent and include the dust cover and HE FREAKIN’ TEARS IT AGAIN ( I hate you, Phil. I hate you with all my heart.)***, is just as much a part of our societal make-up as libraries. I borrow books, you borrow books, EVERYONE borrows books! Are we pirates? My wooden leg says, “Yes”, but my rational brain says, “Are we still talking about this?”

Move on, folks. Piracy is a red herring designed to distract us from the real issue: getting paid what we are worth by those that hold the purse strings. Piracy is a way for corporations to stir up anger and confusion so they can say. “See! You need us! You need us to fight these pirates! What? No, don’t actually read your contract. Huh? Pay you what you’re worth? But, we fight pirates!”.

Are you getting it yet? Sharing books (ebooks or print books) is as much a part of the reading experience as the actual reading!


Bob: “I just read the most amazing book!”

Linda: “Really? Are you done with it?”

Bob: “Sure am!”

Linda: “Can I borrow it?”

Bob: “PIRATE!” Bob bludgeons Linda to death with the book, denting it severely, but making it way cooler looking with the blood splatters!

That’s how it works, right? No? EXACTLY! The only reason Bob may not loan the book to Linda is if she’s like Cousin Phil. (I am so gonna kick you ass, Phil, if you rip the dust cover on my copy of Eat, Pray, Love!)

Oh, and loaning books is so much a part of life that the giant, multi-billion dollar company called Amazon, you may have heard of them, had to build in a loaning feature into their Kindle! They must be losing billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars! Damn pirate lovers!

People, people, people. Let it go. Just let it go. If people care enough about your book to buy it, copy it, put it up as a torrent, then more people go looking for your book, download it and read it, then how is that a bad thing? It’s the 21st century, folks. Time to realize that piracy is just the evolution of libraries and person to person book lending.

“But, I lose money!”

Oh, are you still here, Mr. Whiny Bitch? I couldn’t see you behind the giant pussy that’s your face!

Name one hard fact that shows a writer loses money because of piracy. Not an “internet” fact, but a real one. You know what those are, right? Real facts? Backed up by data? Sigh…

Does a book’s sales stop the moment a pirated copy is available? If that happened then yes, you are losing money. But that has never happened and never will! (I make this statement because I can see the future. That’s a fact!)

Oh, and while you’re busy whining about pirates, Ms. Writer Lady, how’s the actual writing coming? Oh, wait, you’re distracted by huge ship masts with skulls and crossbones and can’t get anything done because you have to hit every single inane blog (yes, I resemble that remark) out there and POST YOUR OPINION? Good use of time, chicky, good use of time…

Soooooo, I encourage as much discussion on this as possible. Please prove me wrong. And by “prove me wrong” I mean use of facts, not just regurgitated internet sputum, please. I have given up sputum for Lent, so don’t tempt me. That’s just mean.

Oh, and one last thing: pirates are cool. Every four year old can tell you that. You want to be cool, right? 😉


*** You are a slave to the asterisks. I OWN YOU!

Posted on March 22, 2011, in What's Up.... and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Jake, interesting argument. I’m not sure I agree with everything you say (especially the comment about Mr. Whiny Bitch’s face, but hey, I don’t know him.

    I can definitely see your point about moving on however. Too many people spend too much time discussing issues that only minimally affect them and their daily lives. Take the whole conversation about Konrath and Eisler and Eisler turning down $500K so he can self publish. You know what? I don’t care that much. If I was turning down $500K to self publish, I’d be more intrigued to see what was wrong in my head but I’m not concerned about his financial state or his reasons beyond what I already know. I wish him well but that’s all.

    As for the pirate thing, I guess I side with you on the whole issue, but you know what, I’ve moved on already.

    • This is the realization I finally came to:
      When I think about pirates “stealing” my work and putting it out there without my consent or control then I start to get tense and angry and want to fight it! FIGHT IT!


      When I think about how people are going to the trouble to copy my work, create a torrent for it and share it with the world then I calm down and I’m all good.
      I come from the land of jam bands and trading copies of live shows (thanks for reminding me Mr. Beanchef!) and all that hippie stuff. And guess what? It works! Not to mention I give away my fiction in my podcast already!

      I think a key point I should have made in the post is it’s not about people getting something for “free” so much as it is about people finding “Freedom”. You can get a couple fans with “free”, but you can start a fan base, a movement, with “Freedom”. Let them have their cake AND eat it too!

  2. That was pretty darn close to an Unleashed cast. Luvit,

    Proof. Proof you say? I don’t know of numbers, but I do know that The Grateful Dead more than survived for over 30 years and they told their audience they didn’t care if the audience copied their music, or shows, and gave them away. Need another: how about U2. They’ve also said they don’t mind if people trade/copy their show, or music, so long as those people don’t profit from it

    And for me, that’s where the real problem lies. Not in the lending/sharing part of things, but in the profiteering off someone else’s work. You know, BOOTLEGGING.

    That is wrong!

    But what would be Really wrong, is not buying as many of James’ works as you can afford. And why wouldn’t you want to? It’s good stuff folks.

  3. And if you’re really smart, unlike me, you’ll realize whose blog you are responding on, instead of who retweeted the link.

    Sorry Jake.

    Buy LOTZA his stuff also. It’s really, Really good!!!

    (now going to Amazon & buying more as penance)

  4. Well, you got me. I had to read thru to find those danged asteriskess’s.

  5. Does this mean no DRM in the Wastelands, ever?

    I read recently that one publisher was thinking that an e-book would be deleted after so many reads/loans. They argued that this was the the case for a library book so you would have to purchase a replacement! Good God, using technology to mimic olde worlde 😦

    • I always list my ebooks as DRM free. I have zero reason to limit my readers from using or sharing something they purchased. I know as a reader that if I by something I want to actually own it. I’ll never have DRM on any of my ebooks I publish. I promise that!

  1. Pingback: Eeeek Pirates EeeeK! Repost

  2. Pingback: Guest Blog Post – Oh, The Whining! « J.R. Murdock

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