E-book sharing, common or evil?




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I had a random thought today and wonder if e-book sharing is ethically correct?

I recently read (and reviewed) two of Rick Reed’s books and it occurred to me a friend of mine would really enjoy both of the books. But when I thought about giving them the Amber Allure website to purchase the books, I can imagine the horror they would feel and I would get a scathing email about sending them either trashy romance or trashy porn. All pleas for earnestly would be ignored. Not that the Amber Allure website is bad, but it’s clearly a romance publisher – as it should be and I know that the appearance would simply turn my sci-fi reading friend off. Even though I know he’ll love these books.

So what are the alternatives? I’d rather walk barefoot to the local Barnes and Noble than ever buy anything off Fictionwise again so I can’t suggest that and most of the intermediaries are romance e-book sellers. While I was stressing over where to find a site to buy the book without getting turned off by the “romance” aspect of it, it occurred to me that if I had bought this book in print, I would have simply put it in the mail to my friend and be done.

So it begs the question, can I simply put these two e-books into the email and be done with it?  Does that deprive the authors and publishers of rightful revenue? Or does it fall along the same lines as various book clubs where they pass a book around? My family, all being prolific readers with varying tastes, mail many books to each other on the off chance they may like something. No one really thinks twice about this kind of book sharing, but for some reason, I got the feeling that a similar sharing of e-books would be frowned upon heavily.

I’m not talking about file sharing in which I throw up my extensive library of e-books on a P2P for anyone and everyone to take as many copies as they wish because they’re too cheap to purchase the book. I’m talking about the pretty common act of lending a book to someone you know. The difficulties involved being if I lend my print copy, the lendee doesn’t now own a copy, whereas if I send a PDF, they do and hence have no reason to buy the book where as they might buy the print copy.

So I’m somewhat in the dark. If I send these two e-books to my friend, am I violating some deep, dark taboo and putting a knife into author’s hearts? Or am I simply following the same guidelines as if I mailed a print copy?

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2 thoughts on “E-book sharing, common or evil?

  1. Think about it this way. You wouldn’t go to kinkos and run off a copy of the book. Not just because it would be horrendously expensive, but also because you’ve just made a duplicate. There are two in exsitance where the was only one.
    When you give an eBook by sending the file…you’ve just made a duplicate. Same thing.
    Check Amber Alluers website. They may have the option of letting you buy the book on CDrom. I know Phaze does. Then you can give him the CD.

    • I hadn’t thought about CDroms, thank you. I didn’t see the option but I sent an email asking if one was available.
      So in reality, there is no way to share an ebook even if I bought another copy to send, because well, no matter how I do it (unless I delete MY copy after emailing or burning to CD and who would trust someone to do that), another copy will always be created.
      Please note I haven’t ever shared any ebooks! So I hope no one takes it that way and honestly it felt wrong to consider sending it to my friend but I was curious what was considered acceptable and not.

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