Question: is piracy okay if you don't have "normal" access to books?
So yesterday morning, I woke up bright & early. I logged on to my computer to start working on homework (so totally my life right now...blah) and got a notification that someone had posted in a Goodreads group that I belonged to.
The comment went something like this:
"I live in a country where we don't have libraries and I don't have a job and I know how to illegally download copies of books and I do it all the time and if you want to know how, let me know because I can totally get you the hottest books for free." (this is, of course, paraphrased by me)
The next couple of comments went something like this:
"Really?! How on earth can I get in on the illegal downloading of books?!"
"Oh, it's easy. I shall show you. I can even get them in Spanish. Also, I don't have a job or a VISA, so this is totally acceptable."
You're sitting there cavalierly discussing theft like it's your afternoon tea?! FOR REALS?!?!?!
And the thing is, they were totally okay with this.
I couldn't help it. I had to put my angry eyes on, because I couldn't let it go. I had to respond to them.
This is what I said:
"Pirated copies? I dunno...I just can't get behind that, regardless of the situation. I'm currently unemployed, so I feel your pain on that, but I'm waiting to get copies until I can afford it. Yeah, I could get a pirated copy, but I just don't feel like that's very ethical.
I don't mean to go all soapbox, but it's been a big topic of conversation among authors and I have to support what they're saying/feeling."
I know, it seems pretty watered down, considering what I wanted to say. I didn't want to outright attack these people though. I wanted to use it more as a chance to educate them.
I did report their comments to Goodreads, with the hopes that the site owners will take a serious stance on this issue. I also left the group, because I have absolutely no interest or desire to associate with people who think that stealing is no big deal.
Because that's what piracy is. It's stealing, plain and simple. This isn't a grey area. Stealing is black and white. You. Don't. Steal. PERIOD. End of story.
The thing is, these authors have worked HARD to write their books, get them published, and get them out in the public eye. Why is it okay for some people to negate that by stealing their work? It's NOT!!
I don't care who you are. I don't care what your situation is. I don't care that you don't have a job or a VISA. I DON'T CURRENTLY HAVE A JOB OR A VISA. But I do not steal books! EVER!! I either borrow a copy from the library or wait until I can get a legitimately purchased copy.
It makes me wonder if these people would walk into a bookstore and slip a paperback into their bag and walk out without paying. I would hope not, but I have to question their integrity if they're willing to steal ebooks. Because I don't distinguish theft between a hard copy and an electronic copy. Theft is theft.
But Ems! I come from a small town without libraries!
I DON'T CARE!!! DON'T STEAL!!!
There are ways to get a book legally and you need to explore those ways. The Book Depository ships worldwide for FREE and has excellent, low prices. They also accept PayPal. Guess what?! You don't need a VISA to use PayPal! Thriftbooks.com has very low prices and very low shipping costs outside the USA (it's free shipping in the USA). They also accept PayPal.
Also, just be patient. Yes, you may have to actually WAIT to get your hands on a book. That's the way it goes sometimes.
So you see, there are other ways. Stealing is just NOT an option, people.
What are your thoughts? Talk it up!
(Also, I'm going to try and get a fairly regular series of discussion posts going. I like to talk things over with other bloggers. I'm toying with the idea of calling it 'Talk it Up'. Anyone aware of any other bloggers already using this for a meme title? I've Googled it, but haven't come across any. I just want to cover all my bases & not take someone else's idea.)