Vlogger visits a counterfeit book bazaar in Mumbai

Originally published at: Vlogger visits a counterfeit book bazaar in Mumbai | Boing Boing


He also notes that publishers are giving Indians a massive discount on legitimate copies because per capita income is lower in India than in other countries

Back when I lived in Russia, I met an American rep from Microsoft. Our conversation quickly turned to software piracy, and how MS was trying mightily to battle it. I brought up this very point: the average Russian salary at the time was $500, so a $150 copy of windows or office represented a huge amount of discretionary spending, on top of a rig that probably cost a thousand dollars. It was hard for a Russian to justify buying a legal copy when a pirate copy went for two bucks.

I told him most Russians would be happy to pay maybe $20 for each, and asked why MS didn’t just create a Russian only version and sell it at a cut rate. I got a lecture in how MS needed to recover costs, yadda yadda.

Salary depending on not understanding and all that…and piracy still flourishes in Russia.


Pretty sure I have a bootleg copy of Cry Shadow! It says it is printed in Hungary, has prices for a couple different countries, no copyright date, and the cover doesn’t feature The Shadow.

Markings are Peter Haddock Limited - (C) BP Singer Features


It’s actually not uncommon to get counterfeit books (even unintentionally) on Amazon these days. A couple of years ago I purchased an expensive (over $100) technical book and found missing pages, blurry figures, etc. I initially complained to the publisher and they told me I should talk to Amazon because what I had definitely wasn’t an official copy. I did get it straightened out with Amazon eventually, and since then I’ve read several articles suggesting that what I’ve encountered is not rare. It’s one thing for these counterfeits to be sold for cheap in the developing world where they can’t afford the real thing and quite another for them to be sold at full price pretending to be the real thing.



publishers are giving Indians a massive discount on legitimate copies because per capita income is lower in India than in other countries

Back in the 90s, when I was a fluffy-tailed fresh young engineer, I was astonished to discover the price of technical textbooks and reference books in Singapore. I did the math, and realized that if I could’ve bought all the textbooks I needed in my four-year degree at once, at the start of the degree, I could’ve a) flown from Vancouver to Singapore, b) bought all my books in Singapore, and c) had a nice week-or-two holiday, and still been ahead.


I had a similar experience. I quickly figured out that I could xerox my physics and math books, at $0.10/page, for 1/10th the price of a new book. The profs would give me the stink eye, but there wasn’t much they could do, and they weren’t contributors, so…shrug.


Profs. Contributors. Gah. That brings back bad memories.

My math text was just plain awful to learn from, but it was written by a member of the department. Who also happened to be the head of the department at the time. Horrible text to learn from. At the end of term when I knew I’d passed the course, I burned it and mailed the ashes to the department (the spine was still legible). I included a note saying that this wasn’t a violent message - I wasn’t burning anyone in effigy, nor did I wish for any books to be burned in bulk. But I did wish to point out that the book, in its current condition, was as useful to me as it was the day I bought it.


#050505 #0A0A0A #0F0F0F #141414 #191919 #1E1E1E ... #F0F0F0 #F5F5F5 #FAFAFA

Much better than the original, thanks!


hey, spoilers! you gave away the ending.


The YouTuber Staurt Ashen once published a fifty thousand shades of grey book that made this joke literal.


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