Part of the problem is that ebooks are very expensive thanks to deals made by the publishers to keep the prices artifically high. A book which Amazon is forced to charge $20 can be had for free and as a result the pirate sites are doing a roaring trade.
Recent research has shown that people will buy digital content if it is at a reasonable price and they can afford it. However the publishers are now making the same mistake as the music industry by trying to jack the prices of ebooks too high. Particularly as the involvement from publishers for ebooks is tiny.
Six major publishers including Harper Collins and Penguin saw prices rocket for many ebooks – some of which are more expensive than the paper version. Needless to say titles published by Harper Collins and Penguin are being heavily pirated. It is estimated that up to 20 per cent of eBook downloads are from pirate sites.