The comments may be the best part of this as people argue about some of the points the author made.
My favorite line:
Publishers need to make e-books worth the download. They need to explain the value of the book to a plugged-in audience and they need to grab fans’ attention before the pirates do.
At least one of the commenters disagrees, saying it’s all about cost. I agree with both sides: making ebooks worth the download includes making them worth the cost being charged. So long as the consumers think they’re being overcharged for ebooks, ebook piracy is going to be a fairly common thing.
I mean, come on. If all you’re doing is repackaging the text in an electronic file, then no, people are not going to be happy paying a lot for that (“a lot” being relative, of course). Perhaps publishers should imitate the video industry and release two versions: 1) the barebones text for a lower price, and 2) a “special edition” with enhancements (video, images, links, the possibilities are numerous) for a higher price, just like there are DVDs with just the movie on them and DVDs with commentary, special features, etc. Then they can cover the people who really just want an electronic version of the text as well as taking advantage of the things that can be done in ebooks that can’t be done in print. (How that would work out in the consumer market for born-digital texts where the “enhancements” are a crucial part of the content, I don’t know, but it seems like the ebooks being talked about aren’t that type.)
N.B.: I have not bought any ebooks, so this is my outsider’s view on things.