I was curious, so I downloaded the ePub file of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker-winning The Luminaries from [insert name of illegal download site]. I own a copy of the book – hardback, signed by the author – so it’s hardly a lost sale. And as a board member of Copyright Licensing NZ I was curious to see what people get when they nick these things.
Then I had to download a new program so I could open the file, as I don’t have an ebook reader. This was a mission, because every program free to download was so clearly full of spyware and dodginess. Eventually I found a trial version of a kosher one on CNet, which is a trustworthy provider, and clicked to open.
Horrible, horrible, horrible. I’m sure the novel looks fine on a Kobo or Kindle or whatever as an ebook, but on a PC screen – no. Far easier to buy the dead-tree version.
But I did like this, on the very last page, faithfully reproduced:
All rights reserved. This ebook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publisher, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorized distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s and publisher’s rights, and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.It’s always good to see copyright acknowledged. So here is Alanis Morissette: