BEYOND PIRACY:FREE COLLABORATIVE DISTRIBUTIONOF BOOKS AND IDEASTODAY AND TOMORROWcreated by sean cranbury@seancranbury | @booksontheradiopresented atbookcamp halifax 2011sfu summer publishing workshops 2011surrey international writers conferencebookcamp vancouver 2012
EVOLUTIONARY STEP OR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR? BEYOND PIRACY
SOME DEFINITIONS OF PIRACY • Crimes commi=ed on the high seas and oceans especially on ships and boats. – via the internet • Illegal reproducLon of materials which are patented or protected by copyright. – via the internet • “a global scourge,” “an internaLonal plague,” and “nirvana for criminals”… it is probably be=er described as a global pricing problem. High prices for media goods, low incomes, and cheap digital technologies are the main ingredients of global media piracy. If piracy is ubiquitous in most parts of the world, it is because these condiLons are ubiquitous.” – via Media Piracy in Emerging Economies Report • An instantaneous worldwide collaboraLve distribuLon system driven by parLcipant enthusiasm about content that remains largely untapped by tradiLonal publishers. – via Books on the Radio.
The future is already here its just not very evenly distributed. ‐ William Gibson
Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE. Published September 20, 2011. 1056 pages. $38 CDN. Uploaded to Pirate Bay same day. EPUB/mobi ediLons bundled. Currently: 38 seeders. Approx d/l Lme: 38 seconds.
The internet is a copy machine. • The internet is a copy machine. At its most foundaLonal level, it copies every acLon, every character, every thought we make while we ride upon it… The digital economy is thus run on a river of copies. Unlike the mass‐produced reproducLons of the machine age, these copies are not just cheap, they are free. • … copies ﬂow so freely we could think of the internet as a super‐distribuLon system, where once a copy is introduced it will conLnue to ﬂow through the network forever, much like electricity in a superconducLve wire. • Kevin Kelly, Be=er Than Free. www.kk.org
This is a DistribuLon Network This is a data visualizaLon of the blogosphere circa 2008. This distribuLon network is based on shared enthusiasm, ideas, community ethics, not commerce (though commerce may result or be facilitated by community interacLons). ParLcipaLon = inﬂuence.
• P2P ﬁle sharing/bit torrent technologies and whatever subsequent advances occur that oﬀer even greater eﬃciencies for trading digital informaLon are going to eviscerate current publishing models and provide new plalorms for expression, sharing ideas, mixing and remixing narraLves across a huge range of interconnected media and re‐engineering texts… Books, released from the tyranny of their covers, physical dimensions and coordinated distribuLon networks will transcend themselves into a place where pure creaLvity and collaboraLon can exist without the burden of commerce. ‐ Sean Cranbury in conversaLon with Hugh McGuire. The Future of Publishing, Open Book Toronto, September 2009.
How can we interpret these numbers? This is a “Piracy Study” conducted by that renown, imparLal third‐party organizaLon, The Business Sooware Alliance in 2007. What do these numbers tell us? When we compare what we know about the poliLcal and/or economic relaLonships between the countries on both sides of this table what do we noLce?
Media Piracy in Emerging Economies is the ﬁrst independent, large‐scale study of music, ﬁlm and sooware piracy in emerging economies, with a focus on Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Bolivia. Major Findings: Prices are too high. CompeLLon is good. AnLpiracy educaLon has failed. Changing the law is easy. Changing the pracLce is hard. Criminals can’t compete with free. Enforcement hasn’t worked. h=p://piracy.ssrc.org
Coda: A Short History of Book Piracy from the Media Piracy in Emerging Economies Report • Such monopolies inevitably a=racted compeLtors from the ranks of the less privileged printers, as well as from those outside local markets. Repeatedly, over the next centuries, state‐protected book cartels were challenged by entrepreneurs who disregarded state censorship, crown prinLng privileges, and guild‐enforced copyrights. • New pirate entrants always responded to • Pirate publishers played two key roles in this the market ineﬃciencies created by the context: they printed censored texts, and they cartels. In the short run these distorLons introduced cheap reprints that reached new could be upheld by state power. But in the reading publics. Both acLons fueled the long run, pirate pracLces were almost development of a deliberaLve public sphere in always incorporated into the legiLmate Europe and the transfer of knowledge between ways of doing business. Over Lme, more and less privileged social groups and regulatory frameworks changed to regions. accommodate the new publishing landscape.
“Many of the great ruins that grace the deserts and jungles of the earth are monuments to progress traps, the headstones of civilizaLons which fell vicLm to their own success. In the fates of such socieLes — once mighty, complex, and brilliant — lie the most instrucLve lessons...they are fallen airliners whose black boxes can tell us what went wrong.” ‐ Richard Wright, A Short History of Progress.
This presentaLon was created, formulated and regulated by Sean Cranbury with the help of the internet. Sean lives in Vancouver, BC. He is a writer and former independent bookseller who now hosts a radio show & blog called Books on the Radio. He is the co‐creator of the Advent Book Blog and the W2 Real Vancouver Writers’ Series. www.booksontheradio.ca www.realvancouverwriters.org www.seancranbury.com