Monday, 30 May 2011

Geo-Restrictions & Piracy

I've never kept quiet about my frustrations on geo-restrictions. Yes, I do understand that there must be financial reasons behind everything, but that doesn't make me feel any better when I really want to read a book that's being buzzed about town and I can't get my hands on it for love or money.

However, the link between geo-restrictions and piracy that's being mentioned around the web of late makes me feel kind of iffy. There seems to be a sentiment that, while piracy is not condoned, it's *more* understandable if the readers cannot get hold of a legitimate copy due to geo-restrictions.


So, if your friend returns from a jaunt to Paris with the cutest little bag she bought at a boutique there, a bag you just have to have, you'd sell your soul for one just like that... BUT, it's not available at any local stores and you can't just up and hop over to Paris to get yourself one... is it okay to steal that bag from her?

No, not really.

I do actually understand the frustrations of readers. I'm a reader. I've gone on at length on the topic in previous posts. I even have an audible version of my own book that I've never been able to listen to because of geo-restrictions. But I've not once been tempted to go and download a pirate copy of it.

And then there's the other side of the argument. The author/publisher isn't actually losing a sale because the product wasn't available to buy. Does this justify piracy? Well, is it okay to steal something that you couldn't afford to buy? Because you're not costing the retailer a sale, you would never have bought it anyway. Huh.

Whew, I think that was just a mini-rant, but it's off my chest now :)


  1. Claire, I'm behind you on this. I get so frustrated at not being able to get some books because of geographical restrictions. But to download a pirate copy of book that isn't free or to buy those hot-off-the-press CD's or DVD's for sale on street corners does feel like stealing. Actually, it is stealing because the artist who put the hard work and talent in gets zero for that copy. It *is* no different to stealing a handbag!
    Judy, South Africa

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