Word thieves

[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Verdana]This particular blog is more about books as he is an author… but the idea goes for anything web based. Software cracking, copying Photos, quotes…, or even web designs. For us it can be stolen images, content or identical look and feel.

It was just a good read.

Word thieves

That is an interesting read. I find the tone a little off putting, but the concept overall is interesting.

I find the potential interesting. But not the current reality.

Just to explain what the article is about, it’s about torrenting – illegally downloading a copy of a work. In this case it’s written work, but could have been about music or video, software or artwork.

It’s not interesting to me because it offers no solution, at least no interesting solution or even a course of action. As someone who has had their work similarly ripped off, (I do consider it a ripoff) this is an old world reaction.

A way to go is have offline upsells and crossells. Books are going to have to become a lot more like DVDs. There’s the original release. There’s a director’s cut. There’s an anniversary edition. There’s the bonus disc with interviews. There are alternative endings. Every few months there is another chance to recoup money lost to pilferage.

The first idea here is an author would finish an offline, physical book. Not anymore. Books are better thought of as “streams” of product – never entirely finished.

Kevin Smith had an interesting movie release with Clerks II. First came the initial release. Next came Director’s notes you could download onto your iPod, start at a cue in the movie to sync, and go back and rewatch the movie.

Released two weeks after the movie premiers, it gives you another chance to make some revenue.

Then you can get a better class of thieves. Decades ago on CompuServe, a rocker would upload a riff or track from a potential song he was thinking about. People would create a dozen variations and the original poster would pick and choose amongst these fragments, reinventing the songwriting process a bit.

In olden days, it was hoped everyone would contribute, creating a new whole rather than the dismal take …take …take downloaders relish in and justify. Notice they rarely remix, and upload a heavily modified version full of new ideas.

This may be changing with some mildly interesting stuff on sites like YouTube, but mostly it’s petty thievery.

In future, you’re going to see “hackability design” built into a whole range of products. You’ll see a release, not of the completed version, but of prototypes needing refinement: Beta Versions.

That’s really the strength of an Apple app store. Building an ecosystem of developers. Imagine authors ten years from now torrenting fan fiction of stuff their fans did – turning that into a salable product in some fashion – and having the schmuck with $300 of the author’s books he never bought whine about getting ripped off.

This is a way to do rudimentary marketing. You kill off unpopular ideas and foster a better understanding of where your marketing is heading. It doesn’t fit the lone genius stereotype typing away – but then who says that’s all that great an idea either.


The secret of iPod’s scroll wheel is Apple didn’t invent it, Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player, and neither did they invent the touch screen phone. They didn’t borrow, they brazenly stole – in the best sense of that word.