Yesterday I contemplated how series publishers are finally formalizing the distribution of small snatches of fiction in digital form as appetizers for longer series. But, I noted, the fear of book piracy remains strong. Angelophile reported thusly on the Bristol International Comics Expo’s panel discussion of digital comics, and the challenge of pirated copies:
Kieron Gillen [of Phonogram] then talked about piracy again and mentioned one developer in the games industry, who, recognizing in advance that their game was likely to be pirated, deliberately leaked a version onto torrent sites.Because by that time, of course, many of those underground users had been hooked.
However, they'd built into the version that it used a certain server for all online peer-to-peer multiplayer games. So every now and again, they'd simply turn off that server, frustrating the users enough that they'd then go out and buy the legal version of the game, then after a while, [the company would] turn on P2P play again.
Can we imagine an equivalent for electronic publishing? For instance, every digital edition of a book (especially in a series) could contain a link to a dedicated discussion site with extras from the author, but the versions secretly released to torrent sites all feed through a balky server. Hmmm.