Neil Gaiman on Web Piracy


As I’ve said in the past, I’m a fan of Neil Gaiman as well as his work.

Well, every once in a while I have that fandom reaffirmed. It happened this morning. As I was perusing the internet(s), I came across this video of Neil talking about the web piracy of his work. He has a unique take on it. It’s only a few minutes long but worth the watch.

I think for right now, at this time and place, web piracy helps books sales. After all, Neil told me that in the video and of course I believe Neil. Who wouldn’t? But I have to wonder as this internet machine keeps growing and more and more books are released digitally, will there be a breaking point where sales are in fact being lost at the detriment of the writer?

It seems a mathematical certainty to me. More and more people have eReaders, making reading digital books easy compared to reading them on a computer screen. With more eReaders comes more digital copies hitting the world. With more copies hitting the world the more places those copies will be found. And with more access to digital copies, the more people will download them for free.

Will honor of doing the right thing and buying one’s creative work save writers? Or will humanity’s urge to get everything and anything for free because it is there swallow writers whole?

I know Christopher Moore has expressed his worry over this exact scenario. Other writers have as well. I wonder what Neil thinks about the future of publishing and eReaders? Would be fun to talk to him about that very point.

You all are smart, savvy readers who keep up on such things. What do you think?