Books, because they are so much more useful and browsable than their digital equivalents, have not been hurt at all by digital piracy. Of course, even that fact didn’t stop the IP maximalists over at IP Central, who tried to instigate an astroturf campaign to enlist authors in their copyright maximalist strategy, which is to make the very technologies to distribute files illegal. It didn’t work, BTW. Perhaps authors know a little better than to surrender their freedom of the press?
So there are several authors who are giving away their books as free digital downloads, and have seen their real-world sales increase. Of course there was Richard Stallman’s Free as in Freedom as well as Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks, as well as Bill Mitchell’s ground-breaking (for 1995) City of Bits. But each of those books were topically related to their distribution via the internet. And who could forget Eastern Standard Tribe?
These books are both different–typical efforts at publishing, recognizing the fact that “obscurity is a much greater threat than piracy.”
Hat tip: Against Monopoly