New Delhi: Celebrated author Paulo Coelho, a known advocate of pirated books, feels piracy is like a medal to any writer whose biggest reward is being read.
In a Twitter post, the Brazilian author of bestselling novels like The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes, Adultery, Like the Flowing River, Brida, and The Zahir says, "Some call this 'piracy'. I call it a medal to any writer who understands that there are no better reward than to be read."
He also posted a picture of boy selling books on a road along with his tweet. The boy has books like Adultery, When Only Love Remains (Durjoy Datta), Your Dreams are Mine Now (Ravinder Singh), Half Girlfriend (Chetan Bhagat) and I Am Malala.
For years, Coelho has been advocating that free content is not a threat to the book business.
The more people 'pirate' a book, the better, he had said a few years ago. He had also used file-sharing networks to promote his books.
Piracy is a huge problem faced by India's publishing industry.
The "Nielsen India Book Market Report 2015: Understanding the India Book Market", conducted in association with Association of Publishers in India and the Federation of Indian Publishers, had listed piracy as one the challenges facing the industry.
"Piracy is widespread, with virtually every street in the country home to stalls selling pirated texts," it said.
British writer Jeffrey Archer is among the writers who want the Indian government to act against piracy.
"While I'm aware of the tremendous support I receive in India for my books, the government still needs to do something about pirating," the 75-year-old author, who was once asked by a young boy in Mumbai selling pirated books if he wanted the latest Archer novel, had said.
Last year, Archer had expressed his anger over some Bollywood producers "stealing" his work without making any compensation.
According to him, his novel Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less was made into the rom-com Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl and Kane and Abel into Khudgarz without his permission.