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The specter of piracy of my books materialized for me several weeks ago when I typed the four words “wayner data compression textbook” into Google. Five of the top ten links pointed to sites distributing pirated copies. (And now, it’s six.)
To add insult to injury, the top ten doesn’t include any page that actually sells my book, although they do point to several pages at Amazon and other sites that sell newer books by other authors. Other search strings do a better job and find the textbook’s page at Amazon.com.
The piracy of music and movies has been a challenge for the industry for many years now, but the book business seemed to avoid the problem. That is rapidly changing.
An article in Tuesday’s Times by Motoko Rich suggests that more and more people are discovering how easy it is to read e-books on new gadgets with high-resolution screens, such as the Amazon Kindle and various smartphones. Digital copies are no longer poor cousins to the nicely bound copies printed with jet-black ink on acid-free stock.
So what am I supposed to do?