The founder of one of the world’s largest Torrent sites has been arrested and it looks like only a matter of time before KickassTorrents is shuttered. This is a serious blow against people who pirate e-books.
“Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials,” Assistant Attorney General Caldwell said in the statement. “In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.”
Every year the founder of the Torrent site was making 16 million dollars in advertising fees and none of it was sent to authors or publishing companies whose content made the guy rich.
E-Book piracy is a big problem. Good e-Reader recently conducted research and after Amazon, most people tend to download all of their e-books from Torrent or pirate websites and forums.
DTI News recently did a report on e-book piracy in Vietnam. They stated “The problem here is the awareness of the copyright. In developed countries, where customers always believe that they have to pay for all products and services, thus facilitating the development of e-publication. Meanwhile, Vietnamese people have the habit of using products and services free of charge.”
China is the second largest e-book market in the world and their digital publishing industryhas shown impressive growth. e-books, digital newspapers, and digital magazine grew by 52.6% in 2012. It is currently estimated that 200 million Chinese consumers read digitally on a daily basis.
The big problem in China is not e-book piracy, but the need to replicate physical books and sell them cheaper or offer digital versions for free. The local publishing industry has not really tackled this problem in a meaningful way, because its considered a cultural norm. Some companies do speak out though, “It’s unavoidable to have so many pirated books on the market. I think all local publishinghouses should cooperate to combat piracy and build a market with a more rational order.” Said Wu Hong, vice editor-in-chief, Shanghai Translation Publishing House.
That is certainly a tall order no doubt, given that cheap pirated editions crop up on a regular basis. In fact, a parallel industry thrives in China where they take pride in coming up with exact clones of the original, be it electronics or anything else. There have even been instances of an entire Apple store being replicated in China, which should be a clear indicator of how seriously they value their replicating skills.
Meanwhile in Spain e-book piracy resulted in €350 million in lost revenue for the €3 billion Spanish publishing industry in 2012 according to a report from Spain’s Federation of Publishers’ Associations and Spain’s ISBN Agency.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.