In the week following the launch of the iPad, six of the top ten selling business-related paperbacks saw a significant spike in unauthorized downloads on BitTorrent, according to BitTorrent news blog TorrentFreak. This cohort saw average increases of 78 percent over the week prior to the iPad launch. While this data may suggest the onset of an eBook piracy revolution, such a coup is still a long ways away.
The study initially sought to track pre- and post-iPad unauthorized downloads of the top ten selling books on Amazon.com. However, that proved a difficult task, as none of them were available on public BitTorrent trackers, other P2P services, and Usenet.
The next logical step for TorrentFreak, then, was to track unauthorized downloads of the top ten business-related paperbacks from Amazon.com. Such books, according to TorrentFreak, "fit well with the demographics of iPad buyers." And of these ten, only six could be found. If this was the case with piracy of music and movies, the record companies and movie studios would be partying as if their business models were more like they were in 1999; it's relatively easy to find the current top ten songs or movies on P2P networks.
These observations speak to the significantly different dynamics between digital piracy of music, videos and books. The lack of availability of unauthorized eBook titles is due in large part to the more complex workflow involved in "digitizing" a traditional book.