A few rather interesting posts on the subject of literary piracy have come up in the last couple of days.
Firstly CNet explains how the publishing in the USA was built largely on acts of piracy. Sadly it doesn’t mention how Ian and Betty Ballantine built their business on the back of being the people with a legitimate right to publish The Lord of the Rings. It was Ace that pirated it.
Then there’s the case of the French government who, doubtless prodded by lobbyists, are trying to steal the rights to the back lists of huge numbers of authors and give them to the French publishing industry.
Finally John Scalzi is quite rightly fuming about an Australian company (part-owned by Microsoft) that is giving away thousands of ebooks that it doesn’t own (with follow-up here).
Personally I’d just like authors to get paid for their work. Not to mention publishers and booksellers. How we are expected to persuade Joe public to behave when governments and businesses set such a poor example is beyond me.