What are Pirate Textbooks? (Everything You Need to Know About it in 2024?)

Digital learning has developed a lot in the last few years. From taking online classes to giving recorded lectures to the students, everything is developing in one way or the other. However, due to this, there is an increase in a lot of illegal practices like cheating and the availability of wrong textbooks. You may have looked for different online textbooks but have you ever wondered if they actually are legal or not? There are many textbooks that are sold illegally online. These books are known as Pirate Textbooks. If it is a new word for you, here we will help you to know what are pirate textbooks.

Quick Takeaways

  • Pirate textbooks are those which are distributed illegally without permission of the copyright owner. 
  • In most cases, people will look for availability of the free PDFs and then remove the digital rights management law. After it distribute these books online on different platforms.
  • Usually, these books are of low cost and also have low-quality content.
  • Due to this issue, most of the authors lose their financial revenue by a huge amount.

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding of the pirate textbooks.

What are Pirate Textbooks? (Everything You Need to Know About it in 2023?)

What are Pirate Textbooks?

Pirate textbooks are those which are distributed illegally without permission of the copyright owner. It can be done in many ways like uploading ebooks on different websites or sharing them with different student groups. When a book is rated there is a great impact on the publishing house of that book. There could be a loss of revenue or down of the sale of the book being copyrighted. As pirating the textbook is illegal there can be legal actions on the platform selling it. Many efforts have been made to stop the pirating of textbooks, but it is still a big problem in countries where the publishing laws are not well defined.

Due to the emergence of the digital world, it has been hard to stop the pirating of books. However, there are many efforts going on to stop the operation of the textbook but it is still a big problem going on. Digital rights management is one of the biggest ways to stop the preparation of textbooks but as discussed above there are people who still sell pirated textbooks. You may also get many pirated textbooks like Chegg.

What is the process of pirating the textbooks?

What are Pirate Textbooks? (Everything You Need to Know About it in 2023?)

The process starts with getting digital copies of the paper textbooks if the PDF format is not available. It gets easier if there is already availability in the PDF format. Another way of getting PDF format is by downloading them through different online platforms like Amazon. Once they get the downloaded PDF version, the next step is to remove the digital rights management (DRM) law. It is usually added by the publisher to get safe from the unauthorised sharing of the book. Once the digital rights management law is removed the person starts sharing the PDF on different unauthorised platforms.

When they share these PDFs they start generating revenue from them. Some may also add advertisements in the PDF to earn more revenue. The other way of doing it is by scanning each page of the book to make a digital textbook. It may look like a difficult task but can be done easily if done by the right tool. Also, it may take excess time but it is definitely worth it if the book is one of the best sellers and is in great demand. 

Why pirated textbooks is a great problem?

What are Pirate Textbooks? (Everything You Need to Know About it in 2023?)

If you are a publisher of authorised books then pirating textbooks can be a great problem for you. It is because there are high chance that you will not be aware that your textbooks are being pirated by other people. In addition to that, there are a lot of platforms where your book can be sold out illegally. There are many platforms and even social forums where the sharing of pirated books is very common and people can also request some of the top textbooks.

The worst part is that there are many platforms that show concern over these problems but are indirectly involved in distributing pirate textbooks. These small and hidden issues in the world of digital media lead to the white spread of the problem of pirating textbooks all over the world. In 2020 there were many publishing houses that came together and filed a complaint against it. As a result, it was found that there are many people who share the textbooks which are donated at different bookstores and share them with others for a specific period of time. If a person wants to use it for more days then they will be charged more.

How do pirate textbooks impact the publishers financially?

What are Pirate Textbooks? (Everything You Need to Know About it in 2023?)

According to various research done in 2017, it was found that most of the publishers have lost revenue of $300 million – $315 million per year. Many people question the validity of the amount of loss shown by the publishers. Hence, you must remember that the study was done for a small group of publishers and therefore it can be not an exact loss value. Also, an important point here is to remember it is an improved value as the loss faced by the different publishers was around 2.8 billion each year according to the studies in 2010.

How to know if it is a pirate textbook?

If you are also searching for a book online you may also want to know if it is pirated or not. The best way is to look for the prices it is offering. Usually, the price of pirate textbooks is too low which is beyond expectations. In addition to that the quality of the text and the visuals in the books will be too low and poor. It can be the easiest way to check if it is a pirated book or not.

Most of the authentic books will have the right marks of the publisher publishing the books. In addition to that, there may be inconsistencies in the content of the book. It means that there may be some missing pages or there may be a wrong sequence of the pages.


There are a lot of online textbooks which are sold online in the form of PDF. Most of the textbooks available online are authorised but there are many platforms which cell unauthorised textbooks. These textbooks are known as pirate textbooks. There are people who get these PDFs and remove the digital rights management law from it. Once done they sell it on different online platforms.

To know if it is a pirated book or not you must check the quality of the textbook. Additionally, the cost of such books is too low and there may be missing pages or wrong sequence. According to various studies, most of the authors have claimed that they have been receiving a great loss due to pirating textbooks.

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