Getting a little taste of their own doubloon-looting medicine, the Society of Authors in the U.K. has determined that piracy will do to book publishing what it did to the music business. If that means fewer parking permits for glistening pec caresser Danielle Steel here in San Francisco, excuse me if I don't shake my fists at the thunderheads and wail unto the storm. Seriously, what's the real issue here?
The incredibly backward, if not entirely corrupt, business of publishing, distributing and selling books and said racket's desire to sell more television-chef cookbooks and copies of pulp attached to Hollywood movies in emerging markets like Asia — and passing along the lost margins to authors. Piracy concerns have been voiced in the U.K. since Charles Dickens's time, and guess what? Books are still published, even today! What should be far more of a concern than Bangladeshis reprinting their wares from PDF files or Google making their work easily found is Amazon.com moving to vertically integrate on-demand publishing with online sales. (Photo by AP/Pavel Raman)