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Although the survey does not specifically discuss books, I would think some of the reasons probably apply.

http://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/121616-why-south-africans-really-pirate.html

The comments are most enlightening.

Pirated games are also seen as a form of advertising
I have been told this by a developer who worked closely with the gaming market in the US.


What was interesting about the survey is that not once were we asked whether we, as pirates, ever bought the content we pirated. Some of us do. Some of us see piracy as a way of "try before you buy". I pirate films and TV shows, yes, but if it's something I truly enjoyed a hell of a lot, I will be buying them on DVD or Blu-Ray, and buying the merch, and buying the soundtracks, and so on. Games I've pirated I've also bought when they're on special on Steam on on the various e-shops. In fact, I sometimes have multiple copies of the same game on different platforms. For example I initially pirated Plants vs Zombies. But I also have 3 legal copies of the game. Yes, I pirate for convenience and often because the stuff isn't available here, but if you make it easy for me to purchase something that's worth owning--and at a price I see as reasonable--I'd rather go that route than waste time, bandwidth, and risk to be downloading the same stuff.
 
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"Yes, I pirate for convenience and often because the stuff isn't available here, but if you make it easy for me to purchase something that's worth owning--and at a price I see as reasonable--I'd rather go that route than waste time, bandwidth, and risk to be downloading the same stuff."

It's often as simple as that.
 

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Yep, I remember the BBC battling with piracy a few years ago. Doctor Who and Top Gear were especially having a huge problem with it in the US for a long time, even with both shows airing on BBCA.  Once they realised that Americans knew 20 minutes of each episode was getting cut, and pirating the UK broadcasts, those shows began airing in their entirety.

I suspect the same thing has happened with QI, because all of a sudden the rights issues with airing it in the US have gone away, and we have that now too.

In that regard, piracy can be a useful tool to see where you can expand your market. Comic books are also prohibitively expensive in a lot of places, but it looks like that's finally starting to change as well, with collections being printed every 5-6 issues and available on Amazon for like, ten bucks. A lot of people will gladly stay six months behind and wait to buy the collection, rather than pirate it because they don't want to spend ten bucks on each individual trade.
 

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"Yes, I pirate for convenience and often because the stuff isn't available here"

Um...so basically he is saying "I want something and I can't have it, so I'll steal it." 
 

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JeanneM said:
"Yes, I pirate for convenience and often because the stuff isn't available here"

Um...so basically he is saying "I want something and I can't have it, so I'll steal it."
A movie you've been looking forward to seeing all year is coming out. But the closest cinema it's playing at is in Alberta. It's out on DVD right now, but only in PAL, and after conversion and shipping, will cost about $80.

All your friends online have seen this movie and won't stop talking about it. It's everywhere. Just not where you live.

That's why people pirate.
 

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JeanneM said:
"Yes, I pirate for convenience and often because the stuff isn't available here"

Um...so basically he is saying "I want something and I can't have it, so I'll steal it."
Look, I live in Egypt and I can't watch ANYTHING unless I use torrents. Netflix, apple TV, etc all have geographic restrictions so their shows will not stream here. NBC, FOX, ABC, etc all do too. There is literally no way for me to watch TV shows. I tried a VPN and the speed was so slow that netflix didn't work anyway. Am I stealing? Uh, no. If I lived in other parts of the world I could watch it for free.

In a lot of the world people don't have access to an easy way to get movies, games, books or even a legal way to purchase it. Also, we take for granted in the US that we have access to things like libraries. These are people who literally have nothing and if they had a library or something they would use it (last I checked, reading a book from the library or checking out a movie doesn't mean you are stealing it.). They don't have these same resources.

That's just my two cents. I'm grateful Amazon actually allows me to purchase books here.
 
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kimberlyloth said:
Look, I live in Egypt and I can't watch ANYTHING unless I use torrents. Netflix, apple TV, etc all have geographic restrictions so their shows will not stream here. NBC, FOX, ABC, etc all do too. There is literally no way for me to watch TV shows. I tried a VPN and the speed was so slow that netflix didn't work anyway. Am I stealing? Uh, no. If I lived in other parts of the world I could watch it for free.

In a lot of the world people don't have access to an easy way to get movies, games, books or even a legal way to purchase it. Also, we take for granted in the US that we have access to things like libraries. These are people who literally have nothing and if they had a library or something they would use it (last I checked, reading a book from the library or checking out a movie doesn't mean you are stealing it.). They don't have these same resources.

That's just my two cents. I'm grateful Amazon actually allows me to purchase books here.
Yes, it's too easy to forget that access is often an issue and the price locally can way outvalue the product itself.

I really do think it is up to authors (let's stick to books) to make sure that their books ARE as easily available as possible. Shortly my books will be available via PayPal on my website in all formats - because not everyone has a platform account, or CC/DC.
 

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I believe in doing the honest thing...but hey, put yourself in someone else's shoes...most of the developing countries have problems with access to online services - Paypal (some have none, some have a partially-functioning one that can only make small payments), online purchase of goods and videos and Mp3s, even access to websites, movies, books. I heard China cannot access Facebook. And it becomes a vicious cycle - the more they do not have access, the more they find illegal means to get access, and the more they do that, the more the countries develop a bad name and get denied internet access. By the way Nigeria, the largest country in Africa population-wise, only received access to Paypal one year ago - and they have overnight become the second-largest user of PP in Africa:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mfonobongnsehe/2015/03/12/nigeria-becomes-paypals-2nd-largest-market-in-africa/

Initially there was a lot of skepticism about releasing Paypal to a well-known internet scam country - but from what I see it was a great success in the end. So maybe some countries deserve a fair chance? Maybe being given a fair chance the piracy and scamming will reduce? Or is there a hidden agenda on the planet behind it all? Like a conspiracy-Illuminati thing? Maintain the bad name, isolation and poverty that developing countries have...
 

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JeanneM said:
"Yes, I pirate for convenience and often because the stuff isn't available here"

Um...so basically he is saying "I want something and I can't have it, so I'll steal it."
Here's the problem, though--in cases where the product is not available, the reason they "can't have it" isn't because they can't afford it or don't want to pay for it, it's because it's literally not available any other way. Having lived abroad for almost seven years, I can confirm that this is definitely a reason why most people I know use torrents.

I used to torrent because there was no other way for me to get content out in rural Japan. Movies, if they're released here at all, won't come out until six months to a year after they're available everywhere else in the world (if you're lucky), and they're about twice as expensive as they are in the States. And rental shops in rural areas are difficult to find. Closest one to me required an 80-minute round-trip ferry plus a 40-minute round-trip bus ride, which is quite a lot of time to spend commuting when you're going to have to go through it again in a day or two to return the movie.

Fortunately, a few years back, I discovered a proxy service called Unblock Us that lets me access Netflix and Hulu without affecting my Internet speed (Kimberly, you should look into it, you can PM me for more details if you like). But ironically enough, even services like these aren't 100% on the level since it's a violation of the terms of the streaming sites and possibly a violation of regional licensing (sites like Netflix don't complain though, because they're still getting paid).

I don't have much sympathy for people who pirate media just because they don't want to pay for it, I think that's wrong. But if someone is literally unable to access it any other way than piracy, then I sympathize with them. That's the product of an outdated distribution and licensing system that hasn't caught up to the twenty-first century.
 

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I've been in the situation where I see a book I really want to read available on Amazon, but when I go to buy them, I'm told "not available in your region".  I go to the author's website, contact the publisher, do anything I can think of to find a way to give them my money - but they don't reply.  This happens often. I'm not making this up just for arguments sake, this is my real, lived experience.  It's frustrating, and erodes my resolution to be honest and not download the often freely available pirate version.

 

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JeanneM said:
"Yes, I pirate for convenience and often because the stuff isn't available here"

Um...so basically he is saying "I want something and I can't have it, so I'll steal it."
I'm not pro-piracy, but this is a bit more legit as a reason. South Africans belong to the same online English-speaking communities as other people throughout the Anglosphere, and if they see people talking about a TV show or book, they're going to want to enjoy that like anyone else. If you do not provide a means for them to read it or watch it, of course they're going to be tempted to look for other ways to get it. It's not a whole lot different from how people in Russia would buy Levis smuggled in from the West during Soviet times.
 

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Masha du Toit said:
I've been in the situation where I see a book I really want to read available on Amazon, but when I go to buy them, I'm told "not available in your region". I go to the author's website, contact the publisher, do anything I can think of to find a way to give them my money - but they don't reply.
Yep, a lot of a e-books that are available on Amazon US or other websites, are not available if you live in the UK for example. There's a fantasy book series I would love on Kindle, but I can't buy it anywhere. I do have the paperbacks, but they are getting a bit dog-eared from many re-reads and I'd like the e-versions. I've already emailed the publisher and the author about it, and not a word back. Not even a "we won't ever be making it available it worldwide."

I had my debit card out and ready to buy seven books, but no site wanted my money. They all refused to sell to me because I'm in the UK. It's ridiculous that we still have geo-restrictions on e-books in this day and age.
 

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Annette_g said:
Yep, a lot of a e-books that are available on Amazon US or other websites, are not available if you live in the UK for example. There's a fantasy book series I would love on Kindle, but I can't buy it anywhere. I do have the paperbacks, but they are getting a bit dog-eared from many re-reads and I'd like the e-versions. I've already emailed the publisher and the author about it, and not a word back. Not even a "we won't ever be making it available it worldwide."

I had my debit card out and ready to buy seven books, but no site wanted my money. They all refused to sell to me because I'm in the UK. It's ridiculous that we still have geo-restrictions on e-books in this day and age.
It might not be the company's fault - some countries have laws and importation restrictions in place that the companies cannot get past or that are too costly to get past...not sure who's responsible to make changes? Just blame the government, hidden government and Illuminati...
 

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This would all be well and good if piracy was limited to countries where access was restricted.

It is not.

When I was in the software business, the bulk of all our pirated software was run in.... the United States of America.  The numbers were in the high 90% range.

How do we know?  Our software registered itself with our servers or it did not run.

"I'll pirate it and then pay for it if I like it enough," is completely disingenuous and an outright lie.

I live in Malaysia now and piracy here is rampant.  You have to build in the costs of piracy to the cost of the product for everyone else, and then decide if you want to fight it or not.  You will never stop it, though you can slow it down if you want to really spend the effort.

DRM can be removed from every eBook published.

Paper books are scanned and put online in torrents all the time.

You can choose to go after the sites that post your books, or just walk away and assume that those are not people who would ever buy your books anyway.

You will never stop the pirates.  No need to justify why they steal.
 

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thewitt said:
This would all be well and good if piracy was limited to countries where access was restricted.

It is not.

When I was in the software business, the bulk of all our pirated software was run in.... the United States of America. The numbers were in the high 90% range.

How do we know? Our software registered itself with our servers or it did not run.

"I'll pirate it and then pay for it if I like it enough," is completely disingenuous and an outright lie.

I live in Malaysia now and piracy here is rampant. You have to build in the costs of piracy to the cost of the product for everyone else, and then decide if you want to fight it or not. You will never stop it, though you can slow it down if you want to really spend the effort.

DRM can be removed from every eBook published.

Paper books are scanned and put online in torrents all the time.

You can choose to go after the sites that post your books, or just walk away and assume that those are not people who would ever buy your books anyway.

You will never stop the pirates. No need to justify why they steal.
So you want to justify denying people in certain countries legal access to online services and goods just because Americans steal???
 

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TobiasRoote said:
Yes, it's too easy to forget that access is often an issue and the price locally can way outvalue the product itself.

I really do think it is up to authors (let's stick to books) to make sure that their books ARE as easily available as possible. Shortly my books will be available via PayPal on my website in all formats - because not everyone has a platform account, or CC/DC.
I have found this is the case with me. Game of Thrones is the only show I download via torrents. Coincidentally, its the only show I can't watch via any of the streaming networks such as amazon, hulu, or netflix the next day. Now that HBO is going to air via HBO Go, there is a valid way to purchase and watch it. I will no longer have to download. Accessibility is the key.
 

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Melody Simmons said:
So you want to justify denying people in certain countries legal access to online services and goods just because Americans steal???
I know, right? Malaysians pay something equivalent to a five-star dinner for a US ebook.
In Russia a couple of years ago, the average price of a DVD was the ruble equivalent of 75 USD.

If I had to pay those prices, I would 'steal,' too.
 

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I've never been out of the country, but I can attest to being one of those Americans who used to pirate.

Back when I was a single mom, barely making ends meet, if I wanted to listen to the latest music, I would either be at the mercy of a relative who would buy it for me, go to the man on the corner selling it out of the trunk of his car, or pirate it. I did the Napster and Limewire thing (this tells you how long ago this was) or find a way to download it otherwise, on my bare bones, borrowed laptop.

Now that I'm in a better place in life, and as a fellow artist, I do the right thing by purchasing music, movies, books, etc. and supporting the artists as I would like to be supported. That being said, if someone in my former predicament pirated my work, I wouldn't be upset. They sought me out as a form of entertainment. That's an honor in itself to me.

Yes there are some a-holes who will never buy anything. But for those who condemn ALL people who pirate and not know the circumstance? All I can say is, "Your privilege is showing."
 

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Briteka said:
People pirate because free is always better than not free.
Some people pirate because they want something for nothing. But this thread proves that this doesn't apply to everyone.
 
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