When people think of countries that have the biggest eBook piracy problem, we often think of China, Russia and Vietnam. According to a new report, one of the most guilty countries of rampant piracy in Europe, is the Netherlands.
Dutch research firm GfK. has stated that 10% of digital books in the Netherlands are actually paid for. The bulk of the content out there is pirated from file sharing websites or Bit-torrent. “On average, a Dutch e-reader contains 117 e-books, 11 of which are paid for,” says Algemeen Dagblad.
In the Netherlands electronic books only account for 4.5% of the total revenue publishers rake in. These are fairly respectable figures, seeing as though in 2012 over 600,000 eBooks were sold from a paltry pool of only 16,000 titles.
Dutch speaking citizens want to purchase more books, the sad truth is that publishers are not fully enamored about the market climate. This is prompting Amazon to open a Kindle store in the Netherlands this Spring. If anyone can convince publishers and lend assistance and technical know how, it’s Amazon.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Netherlands culture is that it is technically legal for people to download books from file sharing websites, it is only illegal to upload them. This is prompting local publishing companies to launch a campaign about “Reading Legally” on social media. Whether this makes a difference or not, remains to be seen.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve 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. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.