Germans Pirated 14 Million Books in 2010The German Association Against Copyright Violation, known to the country citizens as GVU, has recently conducted a new research. The purpose of the study was to prove the high rates of piracy connected with online books, so-called e-books. The organization responsible for the study was the Society for Consumer Research, or GfK. The results of the survey revealed that the Germans downloaded and uploaded without permission of copyright holders about 14 million books last year.
At the same time, the results of the survey in question were belied by some of the critics, who pointed out that according to reports from the publishing industry, the share of the digital books on the entire book market was a tiny one (approximately 0.5 percent).
The study covered about 10,000 people, and its results said that of the 23 million online books downloaded in the country last year, about 14 million were illegal copies (i.e., copies, uploaded and downloaded without the proper permission of the copyright owners). The lion share of the pirated literature was specialist literature mostly used by students for educational purposes. For example, medical textbooks from such largest publishers as Springer or Thieme were very popular online, and hardly any of the users who had downloaded it did that because of having nothing else to do.
Despite the fact that the Society for Consumer Research never actually used the terms “unauthorized” or “illegal” in their final statement, saying instead that they never made a judgment on that, the whole point for the Association Against Copyright Violation was to use particularly this word. The outfit chose another way of assessment and counted all downloads as unauthorized if the survey respondents mentioned that they used any private sites, forums, blogs, ftp servers, newsgroups, file-sharing networks, hosting websites and so on in order to download those digital books. The only problem is that there are a lot of free books distributed online without any breach of copyright, as well as there are online service enabling users to contribute their share into compensating the content creators for their works, and not necessarily with money.
Another results of the study showed that 64 percent of people purchasing digital books, who spent an average of €10.40 on each one, were men.