The Guardian – The UK Intellectual Property Office estimates that 17% of ebooks are consumed illegally. “…The UK government’s Intellectual Property Office estimates that 17% of ebooks are consumed illegally. Generally, pirates tend to be from better-off socioeconomic groups, and aged between 30 and 60. Many use social media to ask for tips when their regular piracy website is shut down; when I contacted some, those who responded always justified it by claiming they were too poor to buy books – then tell me they read them on their e-readers, smartphones or computer screens – or that their areas lacked libraries, or they found it hard to locate books in the countries where they lived. Some felt embarrassed. Others blamed greedy authors for trying to stop them.
When we asked Guardian readers to tell us about their experiences with piracy, we had more than 130 responses from readers aged between 20 and 70. Most regularly downloaded books illegally and while some felt guilty – more than one said they only pirated “big names” and when “the author isn’t on the breadline, think Lee Child” – the majority saw nothing wrong in the practice. “Reading an author’s work is a greater compliment than ignoring it,” said one, while others claimed it was part of a greater ethos of equality, that “culture should be free to all”…”