If I offer you a job for fifty cents an hour, will you take it? This is what I ‘m doing now, and this is OK as long as the results of my work will not be stolen. I ‘m talking about writing a book. Each day I spend several hours after my regular hours working on a book. This is not an easy job, but it gives you satisfaction, industry recognition and the like. So I would not complain, but when I see the sites that offer you free bootleg version of the book it gets me upset. Basically these thieves are stealing more than modest royalties from the technical book authors.
My former co-author James McGovern has found this site offering his book for free. After complains, this Chinese thief removed this book ‘s file, but other bootleg books that are available there. This thief found a new business model: donate for using stolen goods. He writes: “If you find some useful stuff on this site, please kindly click on the PayPal button to donate some bucks to help me keep the site going on. MUCH APPRECIATED. ” But I doubt that anyone who likes using stolen materials would ever donate anything to this thief.
Several years ago one of my students from India has shown me a very thin (rice paper) and low quality printed version of a software book.
People steal even free stuff. Earlier this year a guy from India has stolen all my free Java lessons – he just did not bother mentioning my name. After a chain of shame-on-you emails, he removed my content.
In Russia it ‘s considered normal to share online books and commercial software.
People in these poor countries are often finding an excuse that their low wages stop them from buying books. I do not think this is the real reason. Many people have this mentality “Steal if you can “. It seems natural for them.
In developed countries people steal as well, i.e. kids are stealing (a.k.a. sharing) music, videos, but in general, the don ‘t-steal factor works much better here.
I do not know if there is a solution to this problem, do you? I ‘m not a religious person, but maybe people should spend more time in churches, synagouges, mosques or talking to buddhas?