There have been numerous attempts to prevent book pirating in this new digital age – most have had little effect. According to recent statistics, book piracy costs the publishing industry nearly $3 billion dollars a year – nearly “10,000 copies of every book published are downloaded for free.”
The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property has suggested in their most recent report, that “implanting malware” could be the answer they have been seeking. After following a legal path with it’s high cost and time consuming by nature, the Commission wants to try a new and immediate option to stop piracy.
The report suggests: “If an unauthorized person accesses the information, a range of actions might then occur. For example, the file could be rendered inaccessible and the unauthorized user’s computer could be locked down, with instructions on how to contact law enforcement to get the password needed to unlock the account. Such measures do not violate existing laws on the use of the Internet, yet they serve to blunt attacks and stabilize a cyber incident to provide both time and evidence for law enforcement to become involved.”
Several countries are already using similar “cyber tactics” to combat piracy: China, Iran, the UAE, Armenia, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Burma, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
While the legal ramifications of this have yet to be determined, this may be a viable method to reduce book piracy. Cookies, tracking software and marketing trackers are already widely used, it would not be difficult to use malware to infect those who pirate books.