An article in today’s Guardian points out that the Spanish writer Lucía Etxebarria has threatened not to write any more books because she is losing so much revenue through illegal downloading. This is exactly the kind of attitude Obooki intends to take in his own literary career: in fact, Obooki intends to end publishing in the English language at the slightest provocation from the outside world. There’s something appealing about your books only being available in translation.
But one thing Obooki’s often wondered about the world of illegal downloading is this. If companies losing out on copyrighted material want to combat illegal downloading, rather than fighting the pirate through tedious and inefficient legal means, why don’t they take people’s advice and get with the times and the technology: why don’t they launch a denial-of-service attack?
It would be quite a simple thing, I think – all you would need is a few computers with a few different internet connections – if you could rope authors in too, who probably spend all their time sitting about doing nothing with the computer turned on anyway (if my own experience is anything to go by), then all the better. Then, you’d need to create a file that mimics your e-book but which, for instance, would only have the first chapter repeated ad nauseam. Then flood your friendly piratical operators with your corrupted file and voilà: thousands of angry internet users forced to buy legal copies of your book.
Because to be honest, when you’re illegally downloading stuff of the internet, there’s nothing worse [I imagine] than downloading, say, a song and finding it cuts off halfway through – and then downloading another copy of it off someone else, and finding it has exactly the same deficiency. And if there’s one thing we’ve noticed about internet users, they’re not exactly the patient kind: they’ll do something once, they might possibly do it a second time, but beyond that they’re inclined to give in and admit defeat.
Obooki is available at high expense for all kinds of pointless consultancy. (In fact, if I had any entrepeneurial skill, I’d set up a company which just did this on behalf of the music / film / literarature industries. But wtf, Obooki waives all copyright to the ideas contained in this post and encourages someone to do this).