The media’s fascination with Kim Dotcom has irritated me.
He seems to hae been given a lot more attention and treated far more sympathetically than he deserves.
It will be interesting to see if they’re a little less enamoured with him after this news:
The Publisher’s Association has expressed disappointment that links to author Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries have been made available for free download by a New Zealand registered company.
The novel was discovered on Kim Dotcom’s file-sharing website MEGA yesterday.
“Everyone is rightly proud of the achievements of Eleanor Catton on the world stage so to see her work given away without her consent by a fellow Kiwi company is really appalling,” Publishers Association of New Zealand president Sam Elworthy says.
“We should be doing all we can to support the good work of not only these two artists but also every New Zealander who makes an honest living from his or her creative works.
“MEGA should do more to ensure this kind of thing does not occur.”
Victoria University Press spokesman Fergus Barrowman, which publishes Catton’s novel The Luminaries, said the fact a creative work was easy accessible for free over the internet did not make it right to do so.
“We live in a digital age and authors and publishers recognise the changing nature of how readers want to access material. We made sure that The Luminaries was available as an ebook to New Zealand readers in a timely and accessible way, and we are delighted so many of them have taken advantage of this.
“We are not surprised to be told that there are also illegal sources, but are nevertheless very disappointed,” Barrowman says.
Elworthy says the discovery of Catton’s work on a site such as MEGA was the “tip of the iceberg”.
“Just a few weeks ago we had to ask MEGA to take down an entire educational textbook written by a New Zealand author and which had been made available on their site. This type of illegal sharing is happening at an alarming rate and really hurting New Zealand creatives.
“New Zealand books and music are enjoying enormous success right now. We’re getting creative work out to millions in all sorts of formats all around the world. But while Eleanor Catton is doing big things for our international reputation, it’s disappointing to see her being ripped off by a website which calls itself a New Zealand company,” Elworthy says.
Kim Dotcom is fighting extradition to the United States on copyright and racketeering charges over the operation of his previous file locker site Megaupload.
It’s difficult to make a living from creative endeavours anywhere, harder still in New Zealand where there’s such a small market.
The Man Booker win will have exposed Catton’s work to a much bigger audience but thanks to the free downloads she won’t be getting all the money she’s earned from it.
Beach of copyright, illegal sharing, call it what you will, it’s theft of intellectual property.