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Amazon Kindle & the growing threat of eBook piracy

Today Amazon is releasing its two flagship Kindle devices as the battle of the tablets heats up for Christmas. The Kindle Fire aims to challenge big players in the tablet space, whilst the launch of the Kindle Paperwhite highlights that Amazon is looking to consolidate its position as the eBook reader of choice.

The explosion of digital books has transformed the publishing industry but there is one quietly growing problem that is often overlooked – piracy. The increase of eBook piracy is threatening all publishers but particularly those which focus on textbooks who have a small, tech-savvy audience that are happy to engage with pirate materials. For example, NetNames recently took twenty textbooks from the bestselling lists on Amazon and found that each book was available from over 20 links on ebookee.org, one of many download sites that have proliferated and offer easy access to files stored on cyberlockers. The small target audience of these textbooks means that any sales diverted to piracy could have devastating effects for publishers.

The success of the Kindle is evidence that demand for eBooks will continue to grow so eBook publishers also need to take a proactive approach to mitigate any potential losses by engaging rigorous systems of piracy detection and takedown. Some innovators in the industry have already taken action to slow the growth of this latest threat. For instance, publishers are experimenting with one-time use access codes online and Amazon has introduced a system of textbook rentals which offer readers the opportunity to return a purchased book for a 70% refund. Moving forward, it is those publishers who aim to stay one step ahead of online piracy that will reap the benefits of an increasingly digital world.

Source: Press Release

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