Steve Jobs Bio Is Also a Hit On BitTorrent



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.


  • Michael Burns

    Oh, come on COM, call stealing

  • Pete Wolfinger

    I’m actually VERY tempted to torrent it. Why? Not because I’m cheap. Not because I don’t have the money. But because it’s taken almost a week longer than it should’ve to get here, and frankly I’m sick of waiting. So…

  • Michael Verrenkamp

    The o my reason I would of been tempted to pirate this is because my Ibooks hasn’t been working that great recently and keeps losing my books.

    Grabbed the audio book off iTunes instead :D

  • John Neumann

    The writing style got to be repetitive after a few chapters but for the price, I can’t complain. It’s no different than checking your local library best-sellers shelf before heading to the mall ain’t it?

  • d_n

    Well, if he kept on changing the writing style, people would have also complained about it being too inconsistent. Personally, I’ve found the writing style to be fine…

  • gola99

    I bought the hardcopy book, so a “free” copy online surely can’t be stealing… or is it. 

  • Shane Bryson

     It is. A free digital copy did NOT come with your hard copy. In order to legally acquire a digital copy, you would have to buy it. You got something you would normally have to pay for, without paying for it. That is stealing.

  • Shane Bryson

    Ok, well it’s taking me longer to make the money I feel I should, so I am going to go rob a bank. Same logic. You are an idiot.

  • K-M

    Calling him an idiot after what he said is a not showing a lot of intelligence here. I downloaded the book for exactly that reason. And yes I bought a paper copy, but it’s delayed for another 2 weeks due to some amazon mistake. I am clearly not 100% legal, but I have no problem justifiying this

  • JacksonB

    Thanks, Nicole, for the message.

    It’s funny that we were all sold on eBooks as an inexpensive alternative.  Yet it costs almost as much as the physical books thanks to the robber barons at the publishing houses. 

    Too bad Steve isn’t still around to get these on iTunes for $0.99 per hundred pages.  At that price, billions and billions would be sold and everyone would benefit.

  • Chris Killen

    At least people are reading. 

  • Soulia Boy

    Didn’t Steve Jobs create a device that could make free long distance telephone calls in the 1970s?