Writers are beefing over the future of publishing, and particularly over a new threat to their livelihoods posed by ebooks. Recently we heard that J K Rowling, Aravind Adiga and Ken Follett were up in arms because a San Francisco-based company was allowing free ebook downloads of their copyrighted novels from its website, scribd.com. Needless to say Ms Rowling got straight onto it and, like every other copyright holder before her, found the administrators of scribd.com to be extremely polite and helpful. Her books were immediately removed from the site – only to reappear there within a few days.
Worse than scribd.com is a site calling itself truly-free.org, run by a character who hides his identity behind a silly name. ‘All you need to know about me,’ boasts ‘the Burgomeister’, is that ‘I'm a reader: a connoisseur and a lover of literature for whom paper is finally