The only pirate that ever concerned me was the Dread Pirate Roberts, and that was only until he took off the mask and I realized it was just Cary Elwes. Other beginning writers are very worried about pirates: The Dread Pirate Booksellers.
These authors do things like use Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ‘protect’ their work from the Dread Pirates. Unfortunately, DRM is an assault on users. Instead of a book being easily transferable from one device to another, DRM makes it a pain. For a good summary of why DRM stinks, check out this article from when TOR books removed DRM.
First-time authors also miss a larger point: No one in their right mind would pirate books from unknown authors. If they did, the author should kiss them full on the mouth because they are gifting new readers to the author. That is the new author’s biggest challenge: Finding readers.
There are also readers that refuse to buy DRM-protected materials, not because they are Dread Pirates but because they want to own what they buy. DRM makes them feel like they don’t. When they see a DRM book, they move on to a different book.
Don’t fear the Dread Pirates. Realize that underneath the mask, it’s only Cary Elwes.
- Steal This E-Book? (freakonomics.com)
- After One Full Year, TOR Books Reflects on Abandoning DRM (goodereader.com)