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Piracy of Our Books

Piracy of Our Books

So you’ve discovered that we don’t use DRM on our books and you think that you can sell copies of our books and make a few dollars. Who could it possibly hurt?

The answer to that is: us, you, whoever you sell the books to, other authors and publishers, and the wider society.

We are just authors and publishers. We are not a huge corporation to be taken down or milked. We are a small operation, which is why we fall below the threshold of sales tax in many jurisdictions (saving you money). Similarly, we are trying to sell textbooks at a price that allows very many people to buy them legally and enjoy the legal benefits of ownership. Is that a bad thing? We also have costs, like rent, food, and the like, and we aren’t a charity. (But if you want to send us money on a charitable basis, feel free!)

Other authors and publishers will suffer, because if there is no incentive to create works like these, why should they bother? Piracy is a major disincentive to creative works, especially in the electronic domain. Further, these days, humans pass on most of their knowledge and abilities by non-genetic means, and a big way is through accumulated knowledge in things like books. To work against the expansion of that is to work against civilization. Piracy will make a lot of copies of this one book available, but it will stop the next book being created. Piracy doesn’t create anything of real or lasting value: it’s purely parasitic.

Piracy also drives authors and publishers into DRM, which inconveniences legal buyers more than illegal ones. DRM schemes have finite lives, and we want your copy of the book to last as long as possible. DRM hamstrings long-term ownership of books like this, which should form part of your professional library.

For those who copy and sell these works, there is a risk that they should calculate before they try it. There is legal precedent that those who make copies of copyright works that they have come to possess illegally or for illegal purposes, are liable for the ENTIRE value of the product for EVERY copy made, including back-ups. This is not the retail value, but the value that the copyright owner places on the work as a lifetime valuation. So if we value each book at $US 500,000, based on the time it took to create it and our knowledge and experience, and you make 100 copies, there is a lot of money suddenly at stake. A group of lawyers working on contingency of 30% to 40% of the settlement value have a great incentive to pursue that kind of money. You may be penniless, but they will make your life a misery for many years.

In addition, everyone to whom you sell the book has the same liability, as they came into possession of the book illegally. Even if you don’t charge them for it, it is still an illegal copy, and the liability doesn’t change. And all sensible people make back-ups…. If you disappear and leave your client with all the risk, how are you any different to a drug lord?

So don’t pirate our work. If you do so, it means that you think that professionals should work for free. Remember that when you are trying to deal with a client who has stiffed you over the bill for your services: you are supporting their case.

Finally, this is an honor system, and that is one of the foundations of being a professional: that the public can trust you to do the right things, remembering that there are serious consequences if you don’t. If you are starting out in the geomatics field, doing a seriously unprofessional act is not a good beginning. So do the professional thing. Send your friends and colleagues to this website where they can get the book very cheaply, and with the advantages and safeguards of legal ownership.

This article constitutes notice of the consequences of piracy of our materials, and we will pursue those engaged in pirating our materials to the full extent of the law. We will NOT annoy those who make copies FOR THEIR PERSONAL USE, as that is allowed and encouraged. You can come back and download un updated version any time FOR YOUR PERSONAL USE.

What You Can Do with These Books

On the positive side, when you buy one of our books, you buy the right to use it for your personal uses. You obviously don't own the copyright, but you do have rights to using what you have purchased. This can include study, work or teaching. As it is for your personal use, you can make copies of the book for back-up purposes, as well as for use on multiple devices that you control. If you have suitable readers, you can work with the book as a single entity across multiple devices, sharing bookmarks and notes. (Note that this is a function of the ePub reader, not the book.) We have sold the book to YOU, for YOUR use.

The book is copyright, and so you cannot make copies for anything other than your personal use. You can copy small parts of the book for 'fair use,' as defined by the law in your jurisdiction. If you do this, you should cite the book, in the appropriate academic style. The iBooks readers can help with this (try it! it appears to be an undocumented feature). You cannot replicate large pieces of the book. If you need materials for classes, contact us at

You cannot copy and sell this book: that is breach of copyright and piracy. That goes against the idea of these books as being low-cost and flexible for the legal purchaser.

Giving someone a book you have bought is complicated, as while it should be like giving them a paper book, the electronic side makes it complicated. If you want to give someone a gift of one of our books, buy a gift certificate on this site and forward that to them. The price is low enough that it shouldn't be a burden.

Once you have bought a book through this store, you can return and download additional copies, either to replace ones that have been deleted or corrupted, or to get a newer version. This also applies to ebooks that we sell through the Apple iBooks Store. This textbook should be a serious, long-term investment in your professional future, and it you should be able to have it up to date. This is one of the big advantages of legal ownership of the book.

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