Speaking of piracy, I was just clued in to this great open letter to Scott Turow of the Author’s Guild, by Brian O’Leary. It says everything we’ve been trying to say, only more eloquently.
Is piracy really a problem? Perhaps. It’s certainly a concern. But it shouldn’t be our major concern in publishing right now, and we certainly shouldn’t be punishing our customers with our paranoia. And that’s what DRM is – punishment for customers that drives them right into the arms of the pirates, because all our readers want is a good story that they can get conveniently. Take that convenience away, and they’ll go elsewhere for the story.
As I’ve heard said, if every borrowed book or free distribution were a lost sale, librarians would’ve been lynched by publishers long ago.*
*only not, because librarians is feisty, man. The pasty-faced publishers would’ve been routed almost instantly and chased back to their New York fortifications, which the librarians would have assaulted using various bookladders and flaming card catalogues. There might have been a ninja squad of reference librarians armed with exploding Roget’s involved. Just sayin’.