Over the weekend I had an interesting conversation with some friends about pirated books versus library books. One argument that came up was: They’re both free, right? So how is downloading a free book any different than checking it out from the library?
Of course I know that downloading stolen material and visiting the library are two VERY DIFFERENT things, but unfortunately I wasn’t very articulate in explaining why. So, I decided to do some reading on the subject and came across this fantastic article that details the differences quite eloquently. While I highly recommend you read the article in its entirety, the basic answer is this: Libraries BUY copies of books and have a finite number to loan to patrons, not a file that can be downloaded a bazillion times (for free!) by anyone with internet access.
The author of the article gives this fantastic analogy… Surely you would lend $10 to a friend in need. But would you put up your PayPal account details on the internet for the world to see with a note that says, “Hey, feel free to borrow ten bucks”?
I think not. Bottom line is this: Downloading pirated material is wrong (not to mention illegal) and you shouldn’t do it. Buy the book. Check the book out from the library. Borrow a friend’s copy. But please. Don’t steal it.
And, on a totally different note, today at YA Confidential I’m discussing an eating disorder you may not have heard of… Orthorexia.