The news, as often occurs in these cases, has a certain inherent irony: the publisher of BitTorrent for Dummies, John Wiley and Sons, is suing 27 BitTorrent users for having shared copies of its for Dummies series. What does all this mean? Mixed feelings:
- Those books are among the most pirated of all time. If the publisher has only now decided to sue the users (this is the first case of its type in ebooks), it’s because the ebook business has grown up.
- What will be the final outcome of a lawsuit strategy for piracy? Just ask the record companies: law firms get rich while resources are siphoned from business development, a bad reputation with their users (or rather nothing more than potential customers), ultimate expulsion from their own market in favor of the iTunes of the day. Without even the possibility to get back in: the competitors of Apple are Amazon, Google, etc. In short, a disaster.
- I had hoped that book publishers, with their authors and agents, had understood the lesson given to their musical colleagues and wouldn’t fall into the DRM trap, but unfortunately this is not so. I still hope they dodge the trap of chasing pirates through the courts, but after reading this news article I’m starting to doubt it.