Tuesday, 12 May 2009

digital book piracy

Interesting article from the NYT on how scanned copies of books appear on services such as scribd for download, the theme being that the scanned books are then available for download and onscreen reading.

Given the advances in off the shelf scanner and ocr technology it's almost surprising it hasn't happened already. How long before some company sets up with print on demand capability and starts offering pirated printed versions mail order ?

Given the relatively low cost of surface mail it's not impossible, especially where comparitively expensive items such as textbooks and specialist texts are concerned. After all we already see 'leakage' of the lower cost Indian versions of some O'Reilly books via the second hand trade ...

1 comment:

dgm said...

this also follows on from my "new is cheaper" post.
Providing the book is sufficiently cheap overseas and expensive in Oz sourcing publications from elsewhere is viable. Thus is a remaindered or second hand paperback is $1 +$9 postage from someone such as thriftbooks in the states it is still cheaper to source from overseas rather than $8 + $4 postage to by locally - and the US remainder and second hand stockists are a lot cheaper for the sticker price than their local equivalents.

Scaling this out, of you can do a print on demand book and post it too me for less than I can buy it locally I'll buy it. This could be a legitimate business model.

It would also make piracy sustainable in markets where the cost of books was higher that elsewher, as is the case in Oz