Friday, 27 January 2023 19:57

About piracy

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I thought that in the 9th year of the war, when with such efforts we win back the right to belong to a civilized world where copyright and private property are respected, we all understand how important it is to obey the law and not be like our enemy.

It turns out not everyone. So I have to say something.

Book piracy cost the Italian book publishing industry €771 million in 2021, as well as 5,400 jobs.
In 2022, the project created by Ukrainians was fined $7.8 million in the US for book piracy.
Due to book piracy, the publishing market of Ukraine loses enormous amounts of money every year. And these are unpublished books, unwritten novels (authors are also underpaid due to piracy), unopened jobs, unpaid taxes.
The book is a product of intellectual property. In order for the reader to get a quality book, the publisher invests money.
The publisher buys the text of the book from the author or his representative. If a translation is required, the publisher contacts a translator. This work also costs money.
The cover, if it is a foreign title, is bought separately (and the cost can reach 1,000 dollars per cover), or is drawn independently for a fee to the artist.
Therefore, free distribution of an e-book, let alone its sale, without the permission of the copyright holder is piracy.

Amateur translation, amateur audiobook - made available to the public - violation of the law. The desire to use the elements of someone else's well-known cover and make merch based on it (without the permission of the rights holders) and sell books to fans under the guise of popularizing the publication is banal theft.

Yes, you can draw fan art of your favorite character, hang it on the wall to admire, or post it on your social media page so that others can recognize your talent. But if we are talking about the sale of merchandise for books, this must be agreed with the rights holders.

The conditions for the production and sale of merch may differ from different rights holders. Most often, you need to conclude an agreement, pay a considerable advance, and then pay royalties from sales. And the rights holder will set the minimum market value of such a product (the one from which he would like to see a % royalty, so as not to devalue the brand), so such a product will never be cheap.
It can sometimes take months to hear back from the copyright holder, even for approval of the cover or permission to use the title for the free postcard that comes with the book.

Therefore, legal merch in Ukraine will be expensive. But it will definitely happen, because our readers want it.

Vivat tries to track cases of illegal distribution of products that contain our intellectual property. But sometimes we feel like fighters against windmills. Integration of the efforts of all market participants is needed, and most importantly, the reaction of society and readers is needed.
Ukraine has changed a lot. And we should already realize that digital Bolshevism is evil. You have to pay for a product created by someone, so that a new and even better one is created. There should be responsibility for theft. Manipulation and desire to call black as white, illegal distribution as advertising, piracy as small business, this is the way not to the west, but to the north.

What do you think about this, friends? Let's talk about pain.

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