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Is reading pirated books ethical?

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Anything related to matters of the mind

Ayush6543

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Sep 2, 2021
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So, for the past couple of years, I have been reading pirated books from the internet, and have learned a lot from them. But last year, my parents started stealing electricity, (cuz it's very easy to steal electricity in India). So I am thinking to stop them from doing so. But I think that first I should change myself. I have been thinking about it a lot. That's why I was wanting some advice, from you guys.
 
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GPM

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Read them. Once you have the means start buying them to support the authors.

I used to pirate a ton of audio books. I have since gone back and purchased most of the ones I pirated on Audible, if I enjoyed the material.

My first ever Grant Cardone audiobooks were all pirated, and I have since purchased something like 5 of them from Audible.
 

doster.zach

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So, for the past couple of years, I have been reading pirated books from the internet, and have learned a lot from them. But last year, my parents started stealing electricity, (cuz it's very easy to steal electricity in India). So I am thinking to stop them from doing so. But I think that first I should change myself. I have been thinking about it a lot. That's why I was wanting some advice, from you guys.

Yes it’s unethical, it’s stealing 100%.

Only reason you might need to do this is if the book is banned in your country by the government.
 

mr4ffe

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No, it's like sneaking into a club that has an entrance fee. The question is whether you can live with yourself after the fact. I pirated MJ's books, but then I bought copies as gifts for people in my vicinity.
 

PureA

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MJ would probably have a good stance on this as he is in the exact position.

If it were me, I wouldn't mind you stealing if you couldn't afford it. Buy the book later when you've made some money, recommend it to friends, etc.
 
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Kak

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Is Reading Pirated Books Ethical?​


No.

It is stealing, and gaining at the expense of someone else. Books are cheap. Buy them used if you’re poor.

If you are unwilling to make such a minuscule investment in yourself, you’re going to have problems on this path.

If you want to pirate something, pirate movies. They don’t make you better and they are written, filmed, acted in, developed by and benefit communist Hollywood people who want to steal from you. :rofl:
 
Last edited:

Reynante Alvarez

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Jul 16, 2021
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So, for the past couple of years, I have been reading pirated books from the internet, and have learned a lot from them. But last year, my parents started stealing electricity, (cuz it's very easy to steal electricity in India). So I am thinking to stop them from doing so. But I think that first I should change myself. I have been thinking about it a lot. That's why I was wanting some advice, from you guys.
Me too. But I promised myself that when I already have the means to buy them, I'll do so because the authors deserve my money.

Piracy is temporary.
 

Devilery

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So, for the past couple of years, I have been reading pirated books from the internet, and have learned a lot from them. But last year, my parents started stealing electricity, (cuz it's very easy to steal electricity in India). So I am thinking to stop them from doing so. But I think that first I should change myself. I have been thinking about it a lot. That's why I was wanting some advice, from you guys.
Only stop your parents from stealing electricity if you're going to pay the bill. Sure, stealing = bad, but there's no other reason to do it than to save money, so if you want them to stop it, cover the damn bill.

Regarding pirated materials, I find a PDF version online and if it's a really good book, I put it on a list "I will buy a physical copy of this".
 
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Fox

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Over time stealing erodes your own self-worth.

It is hard to stand behind your own product 100% when you have been stealing others.
 

thomasdao

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Jun 21, 2021
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If you want to pirate something, pirate movies. They don’t make you better and they are written, filmed, acted in, developed by and benefit Hollywood people who want to steal from you.
Oh come on, that's just unfair. People invest a ton of resource to produce a good movie too. You can't say pirating movies is okay while doing the same thing with books is unethical.

In my opinion, it's wrong to pirate books. But is it okay to break or bend the rules sometimes if you have a very good reason to do so? I believe the answer is yes.
 

Kak

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Oh come on, that's just unfair. People invest a ton of resource to produce a good movie too. You can't say pirating movies is okay while doing the same thing with books is unethical.

In my opinion, it's wrong to pirate books. But is it okay to break or bend the rules sometimes if you have a very good reason to do so? I believe the answer is yes.
That was facetious with a little bit of truth.

No, neither is ethical. I just care less about Hollywood than authors. :rofl:
 
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Antifragile

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ethical? No, but you already know this!

That’s the wrong question to ask.

Better question is: would the author prefer you steal his E-book and read it or not read it at all (assuming you can’t afford it)? Most would rather you read the book. Especially if your action after made you wealthier and you then returned and purchased the books after. There is a way to make it right.

I buy a ton of books, 80%!+ I’ll never read. But that’s OK. Based on where I live and my financial situation, books are cheap to me. Not everyone is this fortunate… do what is right for your individual situation.
 

woken

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You’re more likely to value something you paid for. You’re also more likely to read and implement the wisdom.

That says it all.
 

KAIZOS

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Only if you want to pay but can't.

2 situations come to my mind;
- printed copies not being available (but pirated copies available online)
- broke financially, but determined to pay for them later when financial situation has improved
 
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BizyDad

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Instead of worrying about this, get started building a business and pay your own, and then your parents, electricity bill.

Get to work.
 

Aditya Gunjal

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Sorry, I don't know why but this actually sounds hilarious in my head and makes me want to try it
This is a religious practice in india. Mostly done in villages.
And then our government says they dont have money to buy coal and debts us so that they can buy more and increase price per unit kwatt.
 

Aditya Gunjal

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So, for the past couple of years, I have been reading pirated books from the internet, and have learned a lot from them. But last year, my parents started stealing electricity, (cuz it's very easy to steal electricity in India). So I am thinking to stop them from doing so. But I think that first I should change myself. I have been thinking about it a lot. That's why I was wanting some advice, from you guys.
Repay sir MJ by building a fastlane business and getting financially free then promoting his books and his philosophy. His goal is to get people financially free as much as possible.
 
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kommen

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Stealing is wrong. And piracy is stealing.

But the one book that inspired me the most was The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel. This detailed a true story of Christopher Thomas Knight. A man who escaped to the harsh and thick Maine woods at only 20 years old and was never seen again for 27 years. He did not see a single human face during all those years. Not even his own. He survived by setting a camp in a well-hidden spot and sneaking out at night and breaking in empty homes, which were usually second homes or private cabins. He stole food, propane tanks and lots of AAA batteries.

And how does this relate with this thread? One thing he enjoyed stealing were books. He really loved reading.

Eventually he was caught and jailed in 2013. Everyone were amazed and tried to contact him, but he denied all their requests. But why did he consent with the journalist Michael Finkel? Because Michael sent a letter to him telling how both of them were very similar. Both loved nature, were at the same age, introverted etc but especially both loved books.

But why am I writing all this? Well, Christopher Knight is definitely a criminal. He has caused a total of $100,000 in damage in the span of 27 years. He caused a lot of paranoia in the state. He could've been a terrorist, a kidnapper, or whatever because people didn't even know if it was even one person doing all of it. But the judge said any sentence longer than 7 months of jail would be cruel. Many people also felt bad for him. Why did so many people felt sympathy towards a criminal who committed over 1,000 counts for burglary and trespassing? Even after he served his very short sentence, Michael paid him a visit. He admitted to feeling suicidal. It was the saddest part of the book that I even shed a tear while reading it. Despite being grown up men, both Christopher and Michael stood there crying after Christopher told his unfortunate news. Why did Michael cry for a convicted burglar?

Anyways, stealing is always wrong. But for some odd reason, this thread really reminds me of that book. If any of you guys really have to steal something at some point in your life, you can remember this story ;)
 

MJ DeMarco

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No American should be stealing my work, surely with the theft being perpetrated on their brand new iPhone as they claim they can't afford books. Thieves, plain and simple.

However, I can see people in less industrialized countries reading pirated books out of necessity, and in these cases, I really don't have a problem with it. I don't have a problem with a 19-year old in Cameroon who makes $100 USD a month illegally getting my work. If they get value from it, or put it to action, they can always pay me later.


It’s not actually hurting anyone.

Clearly you have not put your heart in soul into some creative endeavor, only to have someone like you steal it, and then justify your theft. I hope someday you pour 3 years of your life into some project, only to have someone steal it. And then hear, "Meh, it hurts no one."

SMH.
 

Cameraman

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As an author, I know my books are pirated. Sometimes I benefit from people coming to my website and buying the book as well as others. I suspect these people are in the minority. I'm happy that they have discovered me but I'm not happy with how.

Piracy damages the publishing industry and by that, I mean the independent publishers and authors.

It's not that I miss out on the income from a sale, although that is an issue. It's the fact that I've just spent 6-8 months writing probably 20 hours a week without any guarantee of a return. I also need to cover my upfront costs for things like print layouts, proofreading, editing, and cover designs. There's a big outlay and risk in publishing a book. The more people pirate the book, the less inclined I am to take the risk of self-publishing.

Good luck finding something of value to read when there are only the big publishers left.
 
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Kevin88660

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So, for the past couple of years, I have been reading pirated books from the internet, and have learned a lot from them. But last year, my parents started stealing electricity, (cuz it's very easy to steal electricity in India). So I am thinking to stop them from doing so. But I think that first I should change myself. I have been thinking about it a lot. That's why I was wanting some advice, from you guys.
Its not ethical but if you are poor and you are reading a book to improve yourself to develop skills to make money, and did benefit from the book just make sure you buy them back on amazon when you get your first big size pay cheque.
 

canone

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Mar 20, 2019
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So, for the past couple of years, I have been reading pirated books from the internet, and have learned a lot from them. But last year, my parents started stealing electricity, (cuz it's very easy to steal electricity in India). So I am thinking to stop them from doing so. But I think that first I should change myself. I have been thinking about it a lot. That's why I was wanting some advice, from you guys.
If you really can't afford it, and you enjoy the books, at least recommend them to your friends. When you make it, you can buy all the books you think had a great impact on your decisions and business life.
 
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Joejordan95

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No American should be stealing my work, surely with the theft being perpetrated on their brand new iPhone as they claim they can't afford books. Thieves, plain and simple.

However, I can see people in less industrialized countries reading pirated books out of necessity, and in these cases, I really don't have a problem with it. I don't have a problem with a 19-year old in Cameroon who makes $100 USD a month illegally getting my work. If they get value from it, or put it to action, they can always pay me later.




Clearly you have not put your heart in soul into some creative endeavor, only to have someone like you steal it, and then justify your theft. I hope someday you pour 3 years of your life into some project, only to have someone steal it. And then hear, "Meh, it hurts no one."

SMH.

No American should be stealing my work, surely with the theft being perpetrated on their brand new iPhone as they claim they can't afford books. Thieves, plain and simple.

However, I can see people in less industrialized countries reading pirated books out of necessity, and in these cases, I really don't have a problem with it. I don't have a problem with a 19-year old in Cameroon who makes $100 USD a month illegally getting my work. If they get value from it, or put it to action, they can always pay me later.




Clearly you have not put your heart in soul into some creative endeavor, only to have someone like you steal it, and then justify your theft. I hope someday you pour 3 years of your life into some project, only to have someone steal it. And then hear, "Meh, it hurts no one."

SMH.

Damn man,

Guess we’re all thieves then because I’m sure like a very very large population of the planet you and a lot of people on this thread and those who liked your post too all engaged in illegally downloading music/ streaming music at some point in your lives.

Those artists spending months sometimes years putting albums together, putting their heart and soul into it for most of us on this very forum to just download or rip it from a friends cd back kn the day.

For the record MJ, I’ve bought all your books before I listened to them.

maybe I have put my heart and soul into something for at least 3 years, maybe I haven’t. Maybe I still hold the same view after putting in my effort on some project for that amount of time.

Shake your head in judgement all you like

It just seems funny to me that a lot of people are throwing stones when they live in a glass house

“I hope someday you pour 3 years of your life into some project, only to have someone steal it. And then hear, "Meh, it hurts no one."

MJ I just hope your future continues to be fruitful and that you continue to provide value because I’ve learned a few things from you so far and even today still.

Thanks
 

technobubble

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Sep 21, 2018
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It's ethical if you're studying and you're broke af to afford some literature (which is not available in library) for your studies. Every situation is different, in the end, if you pirate a book, please buy it when you will have the funds.
 
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Bruno Calisso

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I download all my ebooks, pay nothing. If I like them I will buy them for my library. It's not unethical, it's the way the internet has always been working, sharing files, everyone downloads or has already used copyrighted files from the web, no one is a saint in this. The other day I couldn't preview a book because the author only had his book available in paperback, smart! I had to buy it first. I think it becomes unethical if you start enjoying an author content and don't support him afterwards.
 

Bruno Calisso

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I download all my ebooks, pay nothing. If I like them I will buy them for my library. It's not unethical, it's the way the internet has always been working, sharing files, everyone downloads or has already used copyrighted files from the web, no one is a saint in this. The other day I couldn't preview a book because the author only had his book available in paperback, smart! I had to buy it first. I think it becomes unethical if you start enjoying an author content and don't support him afterwards.
BTW, I would had never been part of this community if I had not previously downloaded MJ's book. Previewing my books before buying them is critical. To me it's just not pratical to go to a library.
 

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