Monday, June 28, 2010

Pirates... or Are They Buccaneers - It Depends on Your Perspective

As I watch the digital reader device market exploding is fascinating to look at the role that's being played by the Pirates.I find it interesting to reflect on the history of piracy and how it plays into the transformation of this market. In the early days the Pirates were simply thieves with boats out to make money for themselves. However powers that be soon saw an opportunity in clandestinely hiring the Pirates to do their bidding. Oft times, these pirates who are working for a cause (merchants, royalty, or sovereign states) were called buccaneers. Carrying out their acts of piracy actually furthered the cause of the sponsor. 

Some of the free digital books that are available on the web are pirated, illegal copies which steal the profits from their rightful owners.But what about the Buccaneers, those entities putting free digital books on the Web with the intent of furthering the market, and driving our civilization into the future? What about the Buccaneers were writing open-source code to break DRM and giving it away for free (with no intent of profiting themselves)?

Can we consider them positive forces in the marketplace, lubricating the gears of change in driving us more quickly into the transformed publishing environment?

What do you think?

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