The common belief is that online file-sharing harms the sale of the product and is the same as stealing a book or CD. Well, there are reasons to think this really isn’t exactly the case. Here’s Neil Gaiman chatting about how online piracy actually boosts an author’s profile and his sales. His most shocking comparison is to online file sharing is closest to lending a book out to a friend. After all, this person has read your book, and didn’t pay for it. If we prosecute this online, we must prosecute it in real life. But that would be stupid, because hopefully no one is dense enough to believe that would 1) work, and 2) help. We’d have to declare libraries the great pirate bastions, where legions of life-long thieves come to steal more.
Anyway, here’s Gaiman.