Global Sourcing and Piracy
He also says he has never heard about any printing companies illegally running off unauthorized copies and selling them. "I don't know of any reputable printing companies, including all of my competitors, that have ever been accused of that," he says. "So, I don't believe that working with a Chinese printer necessarily increases your risk [of piracy]."
The main concern for publishers, Dick says, is the illegal scanning and selling of copies. "If the book is popular, whether or not it has been printed in China, I think, is beside the point," he says. "If it has a market in China, it is not very hard for someone to send a book from the U.S. to China where it could be illegally copied. The fact that it is being manufactured over there, I don't think adds to it one bit."
Dick says the Chinese government is cracking down on copyright violations. He notes that before a book is printed in China, his company has to send an official letter along with the publisher's authorization to print the book in China. "I can promise you that the Chinese government is doing whatever it can to stop piracy," he says.
"Fortunately … there is a fair amount of costs to making a book … There's still paper and there's still the binding. Those materials are expensive, as opposed to someone in the video or audio business, where essentially the duplication costs are very small." Even with scanning previously printed books, Dick says, there is still a small upfront cost for equipment.
Costs, however, don't prevent piracy altogether. "[Piracy] is always going to be a problem. I just don't see the problem being so large that publishers can't manage it and continue to make a profit," Dick says.
A Measure of Protection