Whenever I update my website, I go to Amazon to nab the book covers to go along with the review. Sometimes, when Amazon has that annoying "Look Inside!" thingy, the cover cannot be pinched easily so I turn to Google. And these last two months I noticed something interesting: quite often when I look up the author's name and the title of the book in question, the first few search results will consist of at least one link to either a pirate download site or a torrent site.
It's not like this last year. I personally don't like reading ebooks unless the medium offered is only electronic - I prefer to hold a book in my hands and read at leisure - but I guess I'm in the minority here, seeing the proliferation of these pirate sites.
Is this because of the economy? Heaven knows, I'm personally buying less books than usual, and for a book junkie like me, this is not a painless decision. If someone builds a book warehouse next to my house and tells me that I can walk in anytime to take any (stolen) book in there that I want for free, I can't promise you that I won't be tempted to do so, since I'm human and I have my weakness too. I can only imagine that there are many people who can't afford books who poach those books instead, so to speak. I'm not saying that what they do is correct, mind you, I am instead saying that I understand why sometimes people do that even if they know it is wrong. The temptation to just grab those free things, especially when they are things you absolutely love and crave, is not an easy one to overcome.
Perhaps it's also due to the increasingly widespread use of ebook readers?
Either well, I wonder how the epublishing industry will deal with this. RIAA's method of going after the pirates using lawyers and everything else at their disposal didn't quite succeed, did it? Make DRM even more obnoxious? Lowering the ebook prices some more? Ask Apple for help? It will be interesting to see what will happen.