Walter Isaacson’s warts-n-genius biography of Steve Jobs is a publishing sensation – over 380,000 copies sold in the U.S. alone in the six days since its October 24 launch.
Not surprisingly, pirated versions of the ebook are also a hit.
An Italian Cult of Mac reader dropped me a line to say that he and a bunch of other Apple aficionados there have downloaded the ebook in PDF and audiobook formats.
We checked it out, and lo and behold, there are hundreds of torrents of the bio available from the usual torrent sites. On one popular Torrent site, a bundle of the eBook and audiobook has been seeded more than 1,200 times, roughly equivalent to a popular movie release.
Pirating books is taking off in a big way. Earlier this week, John Wiley and Sons became the first publisher to sue BitTorrent users for pirating its titles. Wiley sued 27 BitTorrent users in federal court in New York on Monday, claiming copyright infringement and seeking damages. Wiley claims the defendants illegally shared copies of its “For Dummies” books. The publisher, one of the largest in the world, joins several major movie studios and music companies in suing BitTorrent users.
At the launch of iTunes, Jobs famously said that illegal downloading is bad karma, so we can only imagine what he would think of stealing his own biography instead of buying it.