E-book piracy currently costs US publishers $315 million each year in lost sales, according to a Nielsen survey commissioned by Digimarc Corporation.
Digimarc presented its findings on March 15 at The London Book Fair.
“When it comes to book piracy, you can’t prevent what you can’t predict,” said Devon Weston, director, market development, Digimarc Guardian.
“This is the challenge for publishers as they grapple with preventing illegal piracy.
“Our new Nielsen data makes it clear these pirates don’t fit a typical criminal profile.
“They access digital content from a vast universe of web pages, social platforms and file sharing portals.
“Our aim is to break down the problem for publishers and help them develop an effective prevention strategy.”
Digimarc said the survey revealed that people who illegally download e-books “are largely ordinary consumers, students and working professionals who access e-books from a wide range of digital sources, including online auction sites and via email from friends.”
The study said 70% of illegal downloaders have either graduated from college or have a graduate degree.
E-book pirates are typically aged between 30 and 44 with a yearly household income between $60,000 and $99,000.