The release of the iPad may have an effect on the illegal downloads of books.
Around a month back, Torrent Freak, a blog that tracks file sharing downloads through torrents, decided to check whether eBook piracy has surged after the introduction of iPad. While there are no conclusive statistics, the results still make for an interesting observation.
From Torrent Freak
To determine if Apple’s iPad has had an affect on eBook piracy we looked at the number of downloaded titles before and after its introduction. We decided to focus our research on the 10 best selling eBooks on Amazon which seemed to be a good starting point. The problem, however, is that none of these books are available on public BitTorrent, nor could we find them on file-hosting services or Usenet. In order to come up with some comparison material we decided to change our sample to the 10 best selling paperback books in the business category, which should also fit well with the demographics of iPad buyers. From this list 6 of the 10 books were available on BitTorrent. We found that the number of unauthorized eBook downloads on BitTorrent grew by 78% on average, a significant increase. It is worth noting that all of the six eBooks had more downloads after the iPad launch than before.
While there seems to be a correlation between the increase of ebook downloads and the introduction of iPad, the absolute download numbers are very small, apparently because the number of iPad owners is still low and most books are unavailable in pirated versions. Torrent Freak believes that the book industry should focus on producing good books, with the iPad helping them to reach the consumers.
Image by jblyberg