Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Book Sharing Ring Uncovered

Nationally, the book publishing industry is battling a recent trend of book sharing. The industry is looking to fight these underground organizations which purchase only one or a few copies of a certain copyrighted book and then share it among their clandestine members. Publishers argue that this sharing undermines the industry and robs writers of royalties from lost sales of their craft.

Souf Oaklin fo’ Life!!! investigative reporters have uncovered a local ring of book sharers perpetrating their illegal activity right in our own backyard. Our reporters were shocked to find the audacity of these book swappers operating so openly and without remorse.

“Yeah, it’s pretty easy to get books,” one man who readily supplied his name admitted. “All you have to do is bring a copy of proof of residence, like a driver’s license, paycheck, or bill and they will give you a card to check out a whole library of books.”

SOFL reporters located one of these book circulating hubs right in the heart of Oakland, in the shadow of the Cathedral of Learning. In a one hour period, SOFL reporters noted over 20 people coming out of this location with stacks of books ranging from one to eleven. Publishing industry losses from this one location, for this one hour, are estimated at $1,558. That is a projected loss of $12,464 daily and an astonishing $2,187,432 yearly for the authors who spend countless hours perfecting their trade.

These observations were only made of adults enmeshed in the book sharing conspiracy. Experts also suspect that there is an underground ring of children’s books, videotapes, and educational materials being smuggled through these locations. The industry has not even begun to calculate estimated losses from these materials.

These potential losses, however, do not faze the supporters of these networks.

“I love this place. One of the things I love about America is that we can have places like this where people of all income levels can exchange books and ideas,” said one book trader who tried to hide behind a guise of patriotism to conceal her criminality. “I really save a lot of money by coming here and stocking up on the latest titles.”

Local publishers like the University of Pittsburgh Press are vowing to crack down on prohibited book sharing.

“We estimate that there could be at least 21 of these book sharing hubs located in the City of Pittsburgh,” said University of Pittsburgh Press Director Alvin Leonard. “We recommend that anyone involved in this activity stop immediately. We are in the process of getting subpoenas and the proper channels of law enforcement to crack down on these ventures and issue fines to any guilty parties caught sharing books. Your free read at the expense of an author’s livelihood is just about to end.”

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