David Pogue wanted to download The Bourne Identity e-book for his 15-year-old son, but he found that no e-bookseller carries it. So he turned to the dark side:
Dudes: It’s 2012. You’re among the last big-name holdouts on the face of the earth. You’re worried about the royalty rate? How about worrying about the thousands of dollars a month you’ve been leaving on the table by not offering the books to the public who’s willing to buy it?
Eventually, I did what I’m sure thousands of frustrated Ludlum fans wind up doing: I downloaded the book from a BitTorrent site.
And then he tried to turn to the light side again.
I know this is wrong. I sure wish I could have paid for it. So I sent the publisher a check for $9.99 for the e-book.
I know a lot of authors who get outraged over the consumer's belief that they can decide what they pay for the piece of art that the author spent months—probably years—creating. They call it entitlement. (It's not like the work is completely unavailable; Pogue could have bought a paperback for less than he spent for a pirated copy.) Many consumers believe that they should be able to access the work in whatever format they choose, and they believe that when they buy the work, they should be able to do whatever they want with it. (They accuse author's estates and publishers of being greedy and out-of-touch.) I know the law says that there's a right and a wrong here, but I also believe the law is hopelessly outdated when it comes to issues like this. I honestly don't know what side I'm on, here.