This Is Why I End up Torrenting (with a Terrible Feeling)

I love books. I really do. I love reading on my Kobo. I really do.

I really, really, really love reading. I also love purchasing books so that the author can get their dues.

But, for the (profanity) of me, I cannot understand Kobo (and to a lesser extent, Amazon) and how they charge different prices throughout the world.

My current rant is a book that is $16.99 AUD here. If I check from Holland, it is 6.99 Euro ($10.00 AUD). Where does that magic $6 come from? An "air" tax.

I'd understand if this was Thailand vs Australia or India vs Australia, but Holland vs Australia? WTF? I'd even understand IF the price was the SAME…

A big middle finger to the companies who charge a different rate in Australia. (profanity)

I would rather torrent the crap out of books and pay cash direct to the author.

Rant over. Thanks for the fish.


  • +1

    Thats why i buy physical books, not only do you own it, noone is going to come and burn it when your license expires. Also i usually buy 2nd hand, as its much cheaper, and too many good books end up going to waste. Buying second hand doesnt really support the author either, but its also environmentally conscious.

    • Digital licence don't expire.

      • +1

        Tell that to people who lost all their books when amazon removes access to their ebook device.

      • Tell that to SAI Global

    • I find physical books repulsive. Paper is very porous and buying second hand you don't know where the book has been. I have mates that do all their reading on the can so their books live in the toilet. All my physical books have deteriorated over time and now have yellowed edges and look terrible. They take up more space, are more difficult to carry around, deteriorate quite quickly and are germ carriers. Oh, they also cost more and are less environmentally friendly than ebooks. I am on my 3rd Kindle and have never lost any books. Having books on a shelf to show off to people how much I have read has no interest for me either.

      • Having them on your shelf is never enough. Books also need to be read in public so people know you read rather than just collect.

      • I actually buy from the save the children book sales here at their annual UWA sale. I do look where i can for more 'nicer' pages and paperbacks and books, that have their structure generally still in tact. I will say - I definitely use wet wipes to sterilise all of the outside. I run the wet wipe down the sides of the pages, obviously you can't wipe the pages themselves but at least the edges of the pages are somewhat sterilised. Inside covers too if hardcover. Not much else :(

        That said when you were young libraries were common, so I try and comfort myself that if you survive that a second hand book 'may' be cleaner. I would probably just wash my hands after reading. Sad part is no books on the bed and falling asleep, but hey i have gotten so many business non fiction and fantasy paperbacks at these sales for literally a few dollars, contrast that to $20,30,40 on book depository and cleanliness just disappears as a second thought unfortunately.

        • The other thing with an eReader is that all books are free if you choose not to pay (torrent).

      • Haha I'll second that, sticky pages aren't much fun D:

        My eBook reader is a lifesaver for travelling, I'm never going back to paper books.

  • +4

    just saying, "Holland" is not a country

    • What about New Holland?

  • +1

    Because capitalism.

  • Cbf

      • +1

        Not really the same as stealing though… Making a virtual copy.

        Theft is where I take an item from you, such deprives you of that item… At least that's what the original Roman law was based on.

        • It's a form of theft.

        • +1

          How so? How does it deprive anyone of anything?
          How is it different to borrowing from the library?

        • @ozbjunkie:
          It's clearly illegal. Your downloading something which you should be paying for.

          The library legally lets you borrow a physical copy of a book/DVD etc. Very different :)

    • +1

      Agree. I was never gona pay any $$$ fornit so I might as well have it anyway. No loss to the sellers.

      • +2

        I would love someone to offer a cogent rebuttal of this argument.

        I certainly can't find one.

        • It doesn't make it right though. Taking something that is not free and not paying for it.

        • @Methotical:

          Copying something is not taking it.

          This is like photocopying more than the allowed 10% from a book at the library.

        • +1


          Your taking a copy that doesn't belong to you = stealing. Sugarcoat it all you want but it's still theft / illegal / wrong.

          I agree with most people that we Aussies get shafted on prices but it still doesn't justify illegal downloads. If it's too expensive , don't buy it :)

        • @Methotical:

          Your taking a copy that doesn't belong to you = stealing

          But "taking a copy" doesn't deprive anyone else of that said "copy". So what's the loss and who's the victim of this heinous crime?

          (I'm playing devil's advocate here! haha)

        • @bobbified:

          It deprives the rightful owner of money.

          It seems we are going to keep going around and around.

          Deep down you know it's wrong though ;)

        • @Methotical:

          Deep down you know it's wrong though ;)

          hahaha - I kind of agree that's it's not entirely morally right.

          But I'm more on the fence when it comes to this topic.

          Like Ozbjunkie said earlier, if I wasn't going to buy it anyway, it's not really depriving the author of anything.

          I think if it was the situation where someone is going to buy a book because they really want to read it and then they downloaded it for free instead, then the artist loses that one sale.

          In the situation where someone was scrolling through a torrent site at home and just came across a whole list of books that they'd never heard of and never seen and they decided to download some out of boredom (where the person had no intention of buying it anyway), then it's hard for me to grasp the concept of the author actually losing anything as a result of that download.

          (I'm not going to lie - I download most of movies! haha)

  • +6

    I find your logic stupid.

    You feel terrible for torrenting, yet you still do it, if doesn't make it any less of a crime because you feel terrible, you are still ripping off the creator.

    If you feel so bad then go get a vpn and buy it from another country and quit whining.

    Or just torrent like the rest of us do, own it LIKE A BOSS and be done with it.

  • -2

    og over here, limewire 4 lyfe naw wah im sayin

  • Charge more, give less, control the people and fine those who try to avoid being ripped off.

  • +1

    It's worse with video games. They are on average 50% to 100% (double price) more than the US price. This is the reason I only buy games on sale or second hand at EB games.

    • +3

      It's the reason I use cdkey sites.

  • Each book you torrent a writer's kid won't have dinner somewhere in the world

    • You perhaps forgot to add "in a Fancy restaurant" in that statement.

      Can you provide evidence to support this. or have you tried to relay some Bono like statement clicking his fingers in a concerts.

      Writers deal with the publishing house who pay either for the piece of work or + % of sales depending on status and the power of negotiation. if 5 Major publishers are all prepared to fight for the book that person won't be missing meals of the table.

      The publishing house is buying the right to Manufacture, market and provide a distribution network for the book.

      The writer also doesn't sign 100 different agreements based on price said book is to be sold at in each country or which country it may be sold in.

      Those choosing to move away from this model have found more money in their pockets but a reduced volume of total sales.

  • +5

    Yet you wonder why Ozbargainers import, buy stuff online, and check global prices for everything

    Ultimately why people visit this site because everything is so darn expensive due to this aussie tax. This has not changed and never will.

    So ozbargain forever lives

  • I love torrents. I really do. I love pirating on my pc. I really do.

    I really, really, really love pirates. I also love pirating ebooks so that the author can get their knickers in a twist.

  • +3

    You have a Kobo? Get a local library card and just 'borrow' the books from the library on your kobo.

    Free books for you to read!

  • -1


  • +1

    One of the reasons why will be the buying power in each country.

    What is the average salary in the Netherlands?
    About 30000Euro = 44564.09 AUD

    What is the average salary in Australia 2016?
    about A$78,832 a year in the second quarter of 2016. If overtime and bonuses are included, average Australian earnings were A$81,947 per annum.

    So you earn nearly twice as much in Australia. Things are more expensive as everybody wants I higher salary. Costs are pushed down to the consumer.

    • Median income reflects the actual income more closely. Also, when adjusted to purchasing power, the difference comes down to ~30% or nearly the same per capita. See Median income in Wikipedia. The numbers are bit old, but wouldn't have changed that much sine.

    • I don't think relative average income is relevant to the costs of an e-book download.

    • I don't think this is relevant given that distribution of an e-book has very little if not zero Australian labour involved.

      If there is anything to justify the aus tax it's going to be Australian taxes.

    • +1

      You would need around 6,560.27A$ (4,414.98€) in Amsterdam to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 7,400.00A$ in Sydney (assuming you rent in both cities). This calculation uses our Cost of Living Plus Rent Index to compare cost of living. This assumes net earnings (after income tax).

      Buy Apartment Price [ Aus ] [ NED ]
      Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 14,211.34 A$ / 8,436.43 A$ -40.64 % cheaper in NED
      Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 8,600.94 A$ / 5,248.98 A$ -38.97 % Cheaper in NED
      Salaries And Financing [ AUS ] [ NED ]
      Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 4,794.42 A$ / 3,529.27 A -26.39 % + for Aus
      Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 4.30 2.33 45.9% cheaper in Ned

      Bottom line the lower salary doesn't mean they are worse off $ 4 $ they are better off because almost everything is cheaper.

      This is a comparison city for city because it's actually more relevant Australia has such a large divide in wages due to a few things and why parliament argue about the GST carve up.

      So your last sentence is actually some people earn twice as much and businesses worked on that principle meaning people needed a raise to be able to afford more than just the basics due to the greed of most businesses. thinking we were the richest country in the world because we rode out the GFC.

      States with a large mining oil and gas presence have more people in the higher wage bracket that helps drive up this average.

      I can tell you from personal experience that for most people i know working in these area's earn upwards of triple that, and we have a ton struggling to make it by on around 50 k that can't afford much past basics. something google won't tell you.

      Retailers restaurants, real estate, had an expectation that everyone could afford the jacked up prices and they simply can't.

    1. I can go to library and borrow books.
    2. Or the library has some books available online.
    3. Or the library can transfer them from another branch.
    4. If the library and other branches don't have them, I can put in a request and they might buy them.
    5. Ditto for DVDs, magazines…

    All these are free, so borrowing from the library pays the author $0. So just torrent, pay zip, and I'm not wasting the fuel to drive to the library even 'saves the planet' - which should even please the 2 people left that believe fairy story for adults called global warming.

  • +2

    This has always been going on. 20 yrs ago when DVDs were the most convenient way to watch movies, in Europe, germany, a new release dvd was 2€ (say $4) while here it was AUD$30. And cinemas too, was about $16 to watch movie in cinema here while in europe it was €2-3.

    And if people think that 'artists' benefit from these exorbitant prices, you are mistaken. The artist is the one who gets the LEAST royalties out of profit made after everyone else has taken their cut. The only one who rake it in, and are the cause of the exorbitant prices, are the limes of Tom Cruise or Nikole Kidman who get 10-15 million per movie.

    And the studios and distributors are crying poor?

  • Petrol? Here is where we have it good compared to europe. Average fuel prices in europe are nudging €2 per litre, even in poorer countries like romania and bulgaria. Here at average $1.50 I guess we get the benefit of the US war on terror (oil prices) thanks guys ;)

  • +1

    I collect fountain pens, and the price difference between local B&M and overseas retail are so ridiculous it is not even funny.

    I was looking at a Mont Blanc Le Grand in solid sterling silver…Australian RRP $2330.

    I can order it from Italy for EUR 1,000…of course I'll pay import processing and GST totalling $200, but I'm still $600 ahead…I know it costs money to get them from Germany to here and wages and rent etc, but I'm not paying an extra $600 for some rude snob to ignore me in the MB Boutique for 15 minutes while they run to attend some men in suits who have no clue other than "I'll have the blue one with with the silver cap…and what does this M mean on the sticker?"…

    I try to buy local as much as possible. But sometimes the price differences are just too big.

    Another case in point…Curtis Australia is supposed to be an Australian pen maker…then Why the [email protected]*$ are the pens cheaper to get shipped from the Netherlands to here?!

  • I got some NGK engine spark plug coils shipped from England for a quarter of the price of buying them in Melbourne.

    They were manufactured in Melbourne!

  • Used booko to find the best price?

  • coughLibGencough

  • Just today, Netflix raised their prices for Aussie customers due to a new tax. So despite knowing that torrenting in Australia is rampant, the people who actually pay for content are getting punished.

    • I've started getting a terrible feeling by actually paying for content.

    • haha,

      they were found playing with this a few months ago, and they can't do it is it official??

      You have an option in a menu to take part in trials of new features etc. Person A found they had been picked to see the reaction of the changed pricing structure immediately got wind in social media and then foxtel had all of it's spin doctors in action claiming that were the only ones to be trusted. So many articles written spewing "i used to hate foxtel but now that netflix has upped the prices its clear to see the future lies with fox"

      All paid quotes

      But Netflix said or had the cheek to say it was an internal verification for them as to whether Australia should or will pay more and promised they wouldn't be changing it.

      If this is purely to do with this tax the gov't can't get right thats been pushed back 12 months

      From July 1 2017, the Federal Government wants to apply the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to all digital products and services supplied into Australia. In practice, this means the amount of money you spend on software downloads and streaming services is set to increase across the board.

      Here's everything you need to know about the so called "Netflix Tax" and how it will affect your wallet.
      Update: The Netflix Tax just passed and will take affect from July 1 2017. The Online Goods Tax has been postponed until 2018, however. More information here.


  • I understand what you mean. I too unleash torrents of rage regularly. I have to breathe deeply and go to my happy place.

  • +1

    Louis CK pretty much explained this situation perfectly…(I mean, except it's to do with TV).

    • actually love this excerpt.

  • Justified thievery at its best

    Don't care either way, but since the country was founded by convicts …. I don't see why stealing is bad ?

    Everybody can steal everyone else's stuff which is fair

  • You could just read a little less? To save money of course.

  • +1

    im married to an author and she basically gets nothing from book sales. The time it takes to write and edit a novel is at least a year - and that's when it's your full time job (just think about how long we've been waiting for J.R.R Martin, or Patrick rothfuss to finish books). Although it's a pain paying $16 for a book just remember how much effort goes into writing them. It really is a labour of love, and if we are not careful we're gonna kill the writing industry - it's already dying, and if it does die we're the ones who will be all the more dumber for it.

  • I'm a classic book worm nerd. I have been raiding the save the children book sales and realised that the hundreds of books were physically just too consuming. Have been looking to minimise to books for non fiction (i.e. my business/personal development needs) and more 'fictional' books to electronic. Mainyl as i feel personal development gets more impact seeing graphs, charts and other points in colour/writing.

    Point being - with an older kindle (back before backlights were cool - you know the one with a square and directon arrows around it) - i am looking to get into ebooks. Am abit confused with all the formats - when i get free amazon books they come out azw, but my local professional membership offers a digital library that gives out epubs and pdfs. However it says i need bluefire android app to read these - whereas i thought epubs and pdfs and azw etc. were all univeral?

    Just abit confused basically what format ebooks are the 'goto' for different reading platforms. And where i have multiple pdf books, how do I get around the formatting issue on kindle? i.e. having to zoom/slowly drag. Can one convert pdf pages or other 'books' into proper kindle or ebook formats so each page you can just flick to the next page and all words/content show? Even if this means a 200 page book becomes 400 to condense it into a page by page content fitting book? Sorry abit new to the ebook game - appreciate any tips.

    Also worried as I grow older my career is looking to moving elsewhere - obviously can't lug hundreds of books with me!

  • I find garage sale and flea market is the cheapest way to buy kids story book and adult cooking books

    And big w to buy scholistic super heroes hard cover paperback ^_^

  • +1

    Cause they want to have their cake and eat it..
    Companies are more than happy to take jobs overseas in order to make more profit, but they want to restrict people from buying overseas to pay less.
    I happily buy my books laden with DRM but never download the file..
    I then go and find a torrent copy that I can read on any device I please, knowing that I have fulfilled my social contract with the author.

  • +1

    Only if I could torrent my house for the same reason.

  • +1

    Every book I find in Australian stores other than in the Book Grocer, I can find at least $20 cheaper online.

    It's one of the reasons why Borders and other booksellers closed down.

    They complained that consumers buy at lower prices from foreign internet retailers, why would they pay full RRP???

    Good riddance for ripping people off.

    For authors though, self-publishing is the best way to make money. For a book you could sell for $16.95, you can get as much as $7 back using the right channels.

    But, books are alright, lets look at the PlayStation store selling a digital game for $109 LOL, and then they wonder why people lose it!

  • +1

    While they keep screwing Australian on pricing, i'll just torrent everything without any guilt

  • Can't u use different country's store than using the Australian one? Cos I love books just like u but I'm also not a native English speaker so I purchase books using my (previous)country's estore for books. For a single volume of manga, I can just pay $3.1 whereas in Australia, the last time I checked it was around $10.

    If you use amazon, cant u use US version of amazon instead? (If u can? Sorry I don't use amazon so I don't know shit)

    • I think i mentioned previously that I did but it still checked out as the Australian store. No luck

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