A recent answer/comment to a different question prompted me to ask this: Why does Tolkien use neither quotes nor cursive writing, and all lower-case, in this specific "quote"?
Somebody seems to suggest that somebody had painstakingly scanned in all the pages, one by one, from Lord of the Rings, and then ran OCR software to digitize the text, and then released that as a pirate copy on the Internet, and this is the reason why there was a mistake in (at least) one place where "The Prancing Pony" was spelled as "the prancing pony", because it was meant to be all-uppercase rather than formatted with cursive or quotes, and the OCR mechanism made a mistake.
But how realistic is this? Would not a pirated book origin from an actual "e-book" release, where somebody else has professionally made all the work of actually digitizing the book? And the pirate just makes a copy of it (possibly remove DRM) and releases? In fact, they wouldn't even begin from a printed copy in this case, because The Lord of the Rings was digitized decades ago and all copies since start from that digital version.
Also, pirates are lazy. I cannot imagine who would sit and scan in all the pages of a book like that only to release it as "warez", without any possibility of making any money from it. That just doesn't happen in reality, I should think.
Do people actually spend countless hours of painstaking work with a scanner at home to produce their own analog-to-digital "pirate e-books" instead of simply obtaining a professional e-book which they crack (if that's even necessary) and release for free?