Textbooks 'readily pirated', claims survey

Textbooks 'readily pirated', claims survey

A study by online security company NetNames has found that 76% of the 50 most popular textbooks were available to download for free on a pirate e-book site.

Netnames looked at the availability of 50 popular textbooks across five different disciplines in the UK and found that over two thirds of the titles were available to download free in pirated form on one e-book sharing site.

The survey found that students were the biggest culprits when it came to illegally downloading the pirated e-books and that typically more expensive science and engineering books were the most pirated academic titles, according to the BBC’s Newsbeat.

David Price, NetNames director of piracy analysis, pointed to the high cost of educational books as a factor driving students to pirate e-book websites. He said: “It's something we've been talking to publishers about. We talk to all content owners about this sort of thing. The best way to beat piracy is to get your content out there, to give it to people in some way or make them buy it in some simple, cheap, easy way."

However, Publishers Association chief executive Richard Mollet said e-book piracy was not on the same scale as piracy of music and film. “We're seeing more infringement of e-books as the digital market grows," he said. "About a quarter of all novels bought in the UK are bought as e-books, so as that digital market grows, we're bound to see a little bit of piracy alongside it.”