On Piracy, Freeloading, and Glass Houses
It seems one person posted a FB status update, asking for recommendations for pirate sites, and all hell broke loose.
That status update is either no longer public (or no one is willing to link to it) but Sarah Madison summed up the situation quite nicely over her blog:
I stayed up FAR too long last night reading the posts and comments generated after someone solicited recommendations for pirate sites on their Facebook page. A few people took her to task for finding ways to steal stories–because yes, that’s what it is–but astonishingly, others came to her defense. The perpetrator herself shut down the censure of others, blocking them, calling them names, and then making fun of the people who dared take her to call her out for stealing from others. I have no doubt there will also be retaliatory negative reviews on some author’s books because that seems to be the way things work these days.
You should go read her post; it’s far more nuanced than you would expect, and even if you have a firm opinion one way or the other it’s still an insightful read.
And you should also go read Amanda’s post on Mad Genius Club.
As for me, I had planned to make a related point about freeloading, people not wanting to pay for web content, ad-blocking, and the like, but I got caught up in a heated semantics argument over at MGC. Further debate could lead me to epitomizing an XKCD cartoon – again.
I will add, though, that while I have some sympathy for those who cannot buy the content because they lack the means or the access (*), I’d rather not get involved in debating the actions or request of the original FB poster.
She should do what I do when I don’t want to buy a book: use the library. It is neither a perfect nor complete source of books, but it is legal and ethical. Anyone who wants to justify piracy has to first explain why a library isn’t a viable alternative.
Does anyone have a link to the original FB post, or a screensnap? I’m wondering how the OP justified it.
Edit: Connie of welovereaders.com shared a link to screensnaps of the original request. It was literally as simple as a single sentence. (I’m surprised that everyone is getting all bent out of shape over it.)
image by jsmjr