The Daily Square – Unchain My Heart Edition

November 15th, 2009 · 1 Comment
by Kassia Krozser

Today’s links of interest:

File Under: The Daily Square

1 response so far ↓

  • kaigou // Nov 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    This is partially tangential to the DRM points you’re making in your other posts, but I didn’t want to derail anything, so this looked like a good place.

    In any discussion of DRM, it seems there are two points I hear over and over. Any author in the debate with a published e-work will say their work is on torrents & downloads, and has been d/led X times, or over Y times, or some Really Scary Number. This, then, is taken as the number of times the work has been read, which in turn is equated with lost sales.

    Except that there have been times I’ve gotten copies of books — library, friends, downloads *whistles*, and not even opened the thing, or opened and then closed. When we’re talking about bundled works, it seems unlikely that every single title in a bundle of 100+ titles would get read by every single pirate involved. That makes the “my work was downloaded 1400 times in 24hours!” seem like a bit of fuzzy, if not fanciful, math, because it’s assuming that 1400 downloads equals 1400 actual readers.

    The second point, made by readers-who-download, is that they’re like library-goers, and would support the author “in other ways”. Or would buy the book if they weren’t limited by geography restrictions, or tech (ie Kindle-only texts unless cracked). But it’s not like you can email $10 to Samhain or Loose ID or Penguin or whomever and say, “hi, I read this book for free but I think it’s worth $10, so here you go!” Yet that’s what many readers claim they would do, if that option existed. A sort of pay after-the-fact thing.

    Do you know of any studies, tests, examples, what-have-you that tried to measure just how many times a single book moves across the web via pirate channels, email, whatever? Anything that tries to measure for your basic fiction ebook (not counting outliers like Rowlings or Roberts or King) just how many readers actually did read the book?

    And do you know if anyone has addressed (or tried to address or even suggested a way to address) the question of giving pirates a chance to support after-the-fact, in some way? Or tried to measure how many books were purchased based on an introduction to the author via a pirated book? Anything like that?

    (I figured if anyone in the ‘weebs might know, you’d be one of the most likely. Also, I find it highly peculiar that commenting here doesn’t give me a preview option.)