San Francisco publisher No Starch Press has stared experimenting with giving away their books for free on BitTorrent via The Pirate Bay. Today they have seeded two of the popular titles that they publish, “Cult of Mac” (torrent) and “Cult of iPod” (torrent), both by Leander Kahney of Wired. No Starch Press founder William Pollock has posted about why he’s testing out this unique form of book distribution.
We’ll be watching to see if making the electronic versions of these books available for free has any effect whatsoever on book sales. And if there is some noticeable effect whether it’s a positive one. I hope so because I think P2P can be a very good and powerful too.
In today’s electronic world we can choose to fight a losing battle with DRM, or we can take a counter-intuitive approach and turn things on their head.