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Do as I Say, Not as I Do...Wait, Not as I Say, Either, Pirated Author Says

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Talk about putting your foot in it.

“Piracy scares the hell out of me...I lose sleep at night over it,” Anne B. Ragde, Norwegian author of such books as Silly Mum, Cold Day in Hell, and Rock Bottom, told Scandinavian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv this past weekend. “I have figured out that I’ve lost [$72,500] on piracy of my books, maybe more.”

Ragde was theoretically offering a counterpoint to the views of the article’s main subject, Christian Berntsen, a 19-year-old pirate who offers books online from his Lithuania-based server.

“Books are priced too high,” Berntsen said. “One of the reasons why the pirate world is so big is that publishers take crazy prices for something that isn’t even in physical form.”

Ragde seemed to agree in principle -- she admitted to buying counterfeit bags. “I feel that the genuine Prada bags have such an inflated price,” she said.

Still, let it be understood: “I cannot stand the thought of someone stealing something,” she said. “We have nothing to live on other than the physical product.”

Stealing is so rampant, she noted, that Norwegian musicians are actually forced to perform in order to profit from their talent. Sometimes they even have to play live.

All was well until Jo, the titular character in Ragde’s first children’s book and, incidentally, her son, pointed out: “You have a pirated MP3 collection.” “Yes,” she agreed. “There were a lot of things on the iPod.”


Turns out Ragde's iPod has some 1,800 pirated songs on it, her son says.

The author agreed to pull the iPod out of “storage” and delete all the music on it. However in a follow-up to the newspaper article, Ragde said her quotes had been taken out of context, and that the MP3 thief in the family is really her son.

“The stuff on my iPod is not representative of my relationship with the music industry and the products they produce. I pay for my music,” she said.

Olav Torvund, a professor at the Center for Law at the University of Oslo, called for the burning of Ragde’s counterfeit bags. He stopped short of suggesting her books be burned.
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