Neil Gaiman Says Piracy is “People Lending Books”


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Neil Gaiman is a comic book icon and well respected author.  So, it came as a shock when he equated online piracy with lending of books.  Gaimain conducted an interview with the Open Rights Group where he expressed his evolving view on copyright.

Piracy has proven lately to be not all bad.  The Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber comic book Underground was posted to the online board 4chan.  The posting was by an enthusiastic fan who hoped to spike interest in the series.  They even offered to take it down when contacted by Lieber.  Lieber noticed that this actually lead to increased sales.  Lieber went so far to post the books himself (which we took advantage in downloading, though haven’t had a chance to read).

Gaiman noticed to same trend.  He himself experimented with releasing his books for free after noticing where his books were being pirated that sales increased, especially where it was being translated like Russia.  Gaiman saw sales increases of 300%.  This lead Gaiman to feel he wasn’t losing sales when he puts these materials out there.

Gaiman equates this with the idea discovering offers by being lent books.  Through asking his audiences he found so many more discovered new authors after being lent books, not walking into stores.  To Gaiman this is raising awareness, this is advertising in the new century.