Today books are turning from objects of almost the first necessity into some kind of antiques. More and more people are choosing electronic means of obtaining information; electronic readers and libraries on the Internet have appeared. It is interesting that the first electronic library was created in fact back in 1971.
Such a sharp transition to new forms of information storage entailed a lot of questions, in particular about copyright. Not surprisingly, a group of myths about digital libraries emerged in the wave of discussions. It is not clear who the authors of such rumors are - those who deliberately steal copyright texts or those who simply do not realize the full depth of the process. In addition, paid resources have appeared, which further blurred the fog on this issue.
Today, among the literature on the Russian Internet, there are processes similar to those that happened in their time with paper publishers. Let's debunk some of the myths about the currently popular electronic libraries.
Readers will soon be banned from reading free books altogether; only electronic libraries will remain. This will never happen. The agreements with the Internet Copyright Protection Agency clearly stipulate non-exclusive rights to publish and distribute works on the Internet. Namely, this document is usually signed by authors, in particular, those who publish their works on the Liters resource. What does non-exclusiveness mean? This is the right of the author to distribute his texts himself, for example, to sell them to other online libraries or stores. Nobody will forbid the author and distribute his work for free. That is, the author can not only sell the agency a non-exclusive right, but also at the same time, or earlier or later, post his materials either on his website or on free resources.
If a book gets on sale, it means that it will not be possible to read it for free in the electronic library. Allegedly, paid resources like Liters are to blame for this. In fact, such libraries are doing just everything possible so that more and more books appear in Internet libraries. Liters brings together several large and free online libraries. Even if the author agrees to place his text in a pool of several such free libraries, he will still receive income. The money will come from advertising on the pages of such resources. It's a paradox, but it is beneficial for the author to post his creations on free resources by signing the corresponding agreements, and even more so on paid ones. Moreover, such action is absolutely legal under Copyright law. Now the author will be able to get a return on his work, which makes money from digital libraries.
Pirate libraries make money only by advertising, such income is only enough to maintain the existence of the resource. Even with a site visit of 500 people per day, you can actually receive income from advertising, that is, real profit, which no longer includes spending on hosting, domain rent, etc. Usually, digital libraries have a high traffic, which means their profitability is higher. Even a newly created resource gains its own audience in 1-2 years, which starts to make a profit. If desired and active, a site of this kind can begin to bring money in six months after starting work. Pirates should not be considered kind people who do this solely out of good intentions. Usually, after the promotion of the project, a moment comes when there is a reasonable desire to make money on it.
Libraries do not have to pay authors at all, because the resource simply makes it possible to read the author's works, the writers must pay it! At the heart of the myth is again the assurances of the pirates that they are promoting the authors and their books free of charge, absolutely disinterestedly. This is not true, because a pirated library takes a popular book (usually by a simple scan with an appropriate quality) and places it on its resource. This is done so that those who want to download the text come to the site, thereby the library earns traffic. And the higher it is, the more people will see the advertisement, which means that the income from it will be higher. Obviously, they profit from the author's work, while they do not want to pay him anything, declaring that he also owes something for the propaganda of the writer's work.
To increase sales of paper books, the text must be posted on the Internet. This myth is spread by pirates who allegedly make free advertising. In fact, there is not a single statistical study that would prove that a person who reads a book in electronic form will rush to buy a paper original, even if the reader liked it. But statistics inexorably states that the annual average print run in Russia is inexorably decreasing. In the 90s it was about 30 thousand copies, later 10 thousand, then 5. At present, the average circulation of a printed book is only 3 thousand, which corresponds to a small circulation. But the forums are full of announcements that the reader is looking for the author's text, while he wants to download it for free.
The persecution of pirates is initiated by wealthy and greedy publishers, which persuade the authors to do so. Are there many such rich publishing houses in our country? In fact, there are two major players - AST and Eksmo. Behind them are the smaller ones - Amphora, ABC, etc. For them, the important thing is how many copies of the books they publish are sold, since a few failures can easily lead to bankruptcy. For even smaller publishers, failures are even more critical. Publishing a book itself is not a cheap process, requiring a lot of work, it is much easier to scan a book and print it later. The retail price is formed from the cost price, the publisher's mark-up, the promotion of stores and suppliers. Unsurprisingly, when all the expenses are taken into account, the publisher's net income is not that great. The authors, concluding a contract with the same Liters, actually deprive book publishers of part of their income. The book publishing house, in fact, does not care whether its author will be read on the Internet on a pirate site or on the site of Liters, or a pool included in the bliss. The author, in cooperation with Liters, can earn additional funds. In the future, there will likely be two kinds of contractual relationships with publishers. Some publishers will buy out the rights to both paper publications and Internet publications. This will allow them to profit from the distribution of the author's books, including on the Internet. Other publishers will focus only on actual paper books.
In the West, authors are not so soulless, the attitude towards electronic libraries is very loyal there. Western authors only take a closer look at the Russian market, studying its features and prospects. After all, the book-publishing pirate lawlessness of the 90s is still in the memory of many. Ray Bradbury and Simon Clark recall this, Stephen King refuses to communicate with our press at all. In the West, there are indeed free electronic libraries, which usually host either classics or novice authors who give their consent to this. Almost every author has his own website on which he can post part of his works for advertising purposes - usually these are short stories. For the rest, electronic versions of books are successfully sold in paid electronic libraries or related resources.
The advent of paid libraries will destroy free resources, and soon we will not be able to freely read texts written long ago by our classics, or rare books in print. This statement is fundamentally wrong, the fact is that the Copyright Law transfers the author's works 70 years later into the public domain, then they can be distributed completely legally, both for profit and for free. Moreover, it will be possible to make money both directly (selling them) and indirectly (placing them on the sites of free libraries). We should expect in the future either the appearance of sections of the classics in existing libraries or specialized resources with classics and rare texts. By the way, such sites already exist.
It is pirate libraries that allow authors to live comfortably by promoting their work. It is from such resources that people learn about new writers and their creations. Most of the visitors to free libraries are looking for new books by an author they already know, which it is a pity to buy in paper form or which has not yet appeared on the counter. Taking into account the book distribution system, there is an option that the reader, even if he wants to purchase a paper version, simply cannot do it. Thus, it is well-known authors and their works that provide libraries with the bulk of visitors. It is naive to think that Internet libraries give readers, buyers, and fame to writers. If a popular author has a new bestseller, then such an event is usually advertised on the home pages of the site, even a small advertising campaign is possible on this matter. But the little-known author is not a fact that he will end up on the resource at all, he will not be advertised separately either.
Finding books in a pirate library does not harm the writer at all, because his books are still sold in real life, for which he receives royalties, which should be enough for everything. The average writer earns a penny royalty for his books, or a small percentage of the publishing price of the sale. Note that the store price is noticeably higher than the publishing price, so the income is not that high either. Therefore, it is not surprising that few people can afford to live comfortably only on the money earned by writing. Naturally, venerable writers with good circulation earn more. It is not surprising that many authors are in principle against posting their texts on the Internet, especially in pirated libraries. After all, they live on royalties and royalties, the more books they buy, the more opportunities to write more without being distracted by looking for another job. Dozens of authors cannot even afford to live on royalties, so they write slowly, devoting their weekends and lunch breaks to this. The same Liters allows the author to receive income from publications on the Internet, while pirated resources only reduce the number of books sold by the author, thereby reducing income. This is due to the limited capacity of the library client. If we assume that the reader has the means to buy 5 books a month, then most likely he will buy new items that he has not read yet, rather than those 5 books that have been read on a pirated resource. In fact, pirates kill the cows that feed them. If the author's books are not on sale, then he is looking for additional sources of income, distracting from creativity, it becomes either slower or worse in quality.