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Sunday, 14 July 2013

How E-piracy can dominate the Bengali Publishers both LEGALLY & ETHICALLY

How E-piracy can dominate 
the Bengali Publishers

© Nirupam Banerjee, India

Many people still WONDER how the E-piracy of the Bengali books still escapes the Law & Order situation?

Very interesting Question! And I appreciate even if they still wonder!!  

 There are various models of Piracy. Maybe they have evolved. From one to another. And one of the latest models is quite  subtle. (Which is now being perhaps simulated by more than one Start-ups: just in the Non-piracy direction i.e. 'in the direction of taking permission' instead.)


The most remarkable feature of this INNOVATIVE model by the Pirates is that, the cost of any Book is reduced to the status of that infinitesimal concept in Calculus!!!

Once you pay a fee per unit time (e.g. in Month)—then you need not think about any money any more. Per book money? Forget about it! The Price of a Book? Forget about it!—You can enjoy a given password i.e. use it to read a LIBRARY in the Internet (as floated by the Pirates by simply 'ripping' the Tree-books page by page & uploading them online in the comfortable file-formats). The E-pirates call it: 

We rip Tree-books.

To tell further, in Australia (2007) the LEGISLATION is changed to allow this 'ripping' as Legal!!! The NEW law calls it 'format-shifting'. And the Law of the Land there is applied not only to Music, TV programs, Movies, etc but even to Books. [Reference: Adrian Hon's ARTICLE on "Death of Publishers"]  

This means, if a book is ever published as Tree-book (paper book) in West Bengal, and someone buys it here, but then flies to Australia, and rip it (scan it page by page) and upload it all into the Internet from a Computer located in the land of the Kangaroos—THEN IT'S ABSOLUTELY LEGAL.

Why the Australia is the 1st in the planet to make the format-shifting (e.g. ripping a Music CD or a Radio program into the mp3) a very LEGAL thing, is another interesting question indeed. One reason I know, at this moment, is that—the Australians believe—

The Technology had gone so far ahead (by 2007) that it is just IMPOSSIBLE to carry out 'Policing' on such file-change (or format-shifting) activities.  

The philosophy of new legislation might be that, it is the Publisher or the Writer who should rather be the PIONEER (the 1st one) to launch their works online, leaving the Pirates without the option of using an Advocate who could in turn use the defence: 

"Look, Honourable Justice! It is my client—the E-pirates—who have rather HELPED much more people to read this book. What the hell the Publishers or the Authors were otherwise doing? In fully reaching people??" 

There seems to be an implicit message—in the Australian Legislation—that every Writer & Publisher should go for at least the E-book version. Or otherwise: risk the Piracy of seeing their Tree-book getting 'ripped' in the Internet.


It is clear that the E-pirates have had some logic. You can't overdrive them in the Court. The case may well linger. Some Pirate websites have, as far as I also know, in-house lawyers.

Back to the Business Model :

Suppose you are a member of an E-piracy website (costing Rs. 20/month). Once you pay it, before the beginning of every month, you get a Password. Which may however change from member to member, and even from month to month (based on say a computer-generated random number; thus no manual labour on the part of the Pirates). And the password is just like a key to open the Main Room of this Online Library. You there finish say 5 books per month. In fact you are allowed to read at your own pace.   

So what's the cost coming up per book—if we need to so evaluate?

The answer is curious!! It is = 20÷5 = Rs. 4 only!!

Now that the E-pirates have an increasingly huge collection and that your pace also increases, just imagine where can the cost/book parameter potentially drop to.  

But unlike the physical library, the capacity of collection can be much more & also the arrival of members within a given time can be much more too. Say within a month every potential reader at the Bengali language arrives in. Say this population is B lakhs. Also let the no. of Pirate members in this website (including their Lawyer & other Speciality Experts) be P.

Then just imagine: how much monthly average can each in the Group earn, POTENTIALLY?

The Answer is: 20B÷P.

Now, just further imagine: if the no. of Pirates behind the site (including their professional Advocate etc) is made equal to the Integer representing the monthly subscription in the Rupees?? That is, WHAT IF P = 20??

Then each Pirate's income (if the share is equal among them) = B lakhs Rupees/ month.


Note:- If your pace of reading is N no. of books finished per month and the monthly subscription you pay the Pirate site is R rupees, then the cost (say C)of a book with respect to you—as we have already seen in 20÷5=4 rupees—is:

C = R÷N. 

Now, as R→0 (the Pirates' offer of only Rs. 20/month to pay them—equalling just two cold drinks here in West Bengal—makes me simply recall the high school calculus class of Limit) or N→∞ (if people's reading speed is considered 'limitless' e.g. of the Yogis) we get:

Lt C = Lt (R/N) = 0 
R→0         R→0 


Lt C = Lt (R/N) = 0 
N→∞       N→∞

In practice, the Pirates convert the above two theoretical ideas (as not all readers are Yogis, thus N has a finite limit) (& also as the Pirates can't work for FREE, thus R has a non-zero limit)...into the following brilliant synthesis:    

The cost of book = R↓/N↑ = C↓↓

i.e. R is very small & N is very high so much so that C is too much small. Like practically the differential amount in Calculus (dC)!
Thus the E-pirates distribute each book PRACTICALLY for free!!
And yet they can make huge money, potentially!!!♦ 

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