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Please don’t try this at home

September 27, 2008

I should probably treat this issue with a dignified silence, but being neither silent nor dignified, here goes…

The following was recently posted on a filesharing website above a copy of the audio jacket for ‘Ruso and the Demented Doctor’:

“Ah – I have been fooled, by once again the publishers ‘renaming’ a book – this is in fact the same as Terra Incognita! I thought I have found the third in the series, as nowhere on the cover does it mention Terra Incognita!! However, having gone to the bother of ripping it etc, here it is – it is unabridged and read by Sean Barrett – who is a different narrator from the earlier upload, which was Simon Vance.

Thank you to the original uploader of Terra Incognita who introduced me to the series”

Aargh! It’s nice to know that people like the books enough to want to share illegal copies with total strangers across the internet.  BUT…

If they can’t afford to buy it, couldn’t they at least get themselves down to the local library and shell out the very small sum that’s required to borrow the audio and listen to it legally? (If the library hasn’t got it, the staff can usually get it from somewhere that has.) Writers don’t make any money out of audio loans, but most public libraries desperately need cash, and more bodies through the door will help put their visitor numbers up and support them in the scramble for public money.

Moreover, just to reiterate the obvious… the companies who go to the bother and expense of making the recordings do it in order for their staff to earn a living. More piracy means less revenue for them, and less revenue can tip the balance so that a marginally profitable recording becomes a loss-making one. That’s not a great incentive for the company to record the writer’s next book, is it?

I know there are people who will argue for file-sharing far more fluently and indignantly than I can argue against it. I don’t imagine any of the above will make any difference to them.  I just feel better for saying it. Thanks for listening. Legally.

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5 comments

  1. I agree. I speak from a position of smirking moral superiority, as I have just finished the second book, in book form, and I paid for it!

    BTW, loved it. Can’t wait for the third. Looking forward to seeing what becomes of the married Valens. And I’d love to meet up with Claudius Innocens again…


  2. Thanks, Ray – really glad you enjoyed it, since you’d been kind enough to pay for it!

    Book 3′s currently receiving a reshuffle and fresh polish after a trip to the editors, who have a knack for pointing out things that I should have seen before and didn’t…


  3. Pay for things??

    Seriously, whatever you think of illegal downloads, it’s a bit much to file complaints about having been tricked.


  4. I chime in as one of your loyal and legal listeners.

    The readers for Medicus and Terra Incognita have both been wonderful. Of course, they had fabulous material to work with!


  5. Thanks, Christi! Yes, Simon Vance did a terrific job. He even got in touch with me beforehand to check some pronunciations, which I thought was pretty impressive. (‘Darlughdacha’ had everyone stumped including me, but luckily my brother works for an Irish university and has colleagues who know that sort of thing.)



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