NOTE: After you sign this petition, a donation page from iPetitions will display. At that point you can close the browser window, your signature has been recorded. It's a common misconception, at least in my world, that a voracious reader is a frustrated writer. Whenever I meet someone new or an acquaintance finds out that I am a "reader" they always, at some point, ask me when I'm going to write my own book. I don't want to write a book. I can't think of a time when I wanted to write a book. I am the writer's perfect complement. I am a reader. I take in the words that authors *are compelled* to write and I make their story come alive. I meet their characters and in many cases, their subconscious. I take their words into our collective imagination and give them life. I am grateful to the writers that give me so many hours of enjoyment. For less than the price of a movie I can spend several hours or more engrossed in the words and worlds created just for me. I can go back and re-read those books that touch me deeply or I can move on to the next book fondly remembering the characters and wishing them well in their happily ever after. The internet has given many writers an opportunity to find readers like me. The yin to their yang, peanut butter to their jelly, the other half of the whole. Many of the writers I read would not have that opportunity to entertain me in paperback format. The market is limited and the expense is too great to take many chances on new authors or subgenres. The wonders of the internet have solved that problem. Ebooks are an expanding and legitimate choice of publishing venue that greatly increase the opportunity for new or smaller genre writers to get their work out there so that I can find it. However, at the same time the internet has made it possible for our writer/reader romance to blossom, it has also enabled thieves to steal or "pirate" the writers' work. As a reader who truly believes in supporting the authors who provide so many hours of entertainment to me, I would never consider reading a pirated novel of any kind. This is stealing. Passing on a paperback is not the same as passing on an ebook. The paperback I pass on cannot be read by more than one person at the same time. Passing on an ebook, even after you have read it, is the same as photocopying the paperback and giving away those copies while keeping the book for yourself. Put simply, it steals royalties from the author. From following authors on Twitter I have come to realize that ebook piracy is a growing problem creating serious financial burdens. It's demoralizing to an author when they can see that more copies of an individual title they've written are being downloaded on pirate sites than are being purchased. For authors who depend on the income, this is a significant loss. These authors are also spending their valuable writing time checking the pirate sites and sending in "cease and desist" letters. Some are deciding not to publish in a digital format any longer. Knowing that I pay for books that others are stealing makes me angry. Knowing how it hurts the authors whose work gives me such pleasure makes me even angrier. Compare this to my neighbor stealing cable through my connection. It doesn't directly affect me in the short run, but over time I will definitely feel the results of such sustained thievery. In the long term if enough households do it some of the channels may fold and I will have less choices to watch or my cable company may raise my rates to compensate. It is the same with pirated ebooks. As piracy continues, less and less authors will be willing to put their hard work out there to be stolen and ebook prices will continue to climb to offset the stolen sales. When ebooks cost more than paperbacks the first place to point a finger is at the pirate sites and those that use them. I buy my books. I put out my $2.00 to $7.00 and purchase them legally. Pirating books, either by making them available on a pirate site or by availing yourself of a pirated book is stealing. This in not an ambiguous moral issue. This is black and white. It is stealing money they have earned with their sweat and their tears. You are stealing their art, their creativity and their soul. Of course, if you have read this far, I'm preaching to the choir. If you pirate ebooks, you'd never have read this far. You would have already rolled your eyes and said, "Who am I hurting" So, if you don't yourself pirate books or read pirated books, what can you do Be an example. Do not be silent when someone mentions stealing ebooks in your presence. You *can* say, "That's just wrong. You wouldn't steal a candy bar from the store, so why would you steal a book" I pledge not to steal out of the hands of the authors...do you JenMcJ * * * * * JenMcJ has always been a reading addict and her current facination is all things e-book. Since she hasn't found a single person in her regular life that likes to read the same type of stories she does, she was surprised to step out into the internet and find a huge circle of friends from all over the world that do. Still, family, friends and even neighbors know that if she can put it off to sit down and read, she will. Thus, the canceled appointments, late arrivals, dusty house and pile of laundry waiting to be done are no surprise anymore, least of all to her husband and children.