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Piracy

Paulo Coelho: ‘Welcome to Download My Books for Free’

Signing a blog post as “Pirate Coelho,” bestselling author Paulo Coelho has joined a promotional program at the infamous file sharing site, The Pirate Bay.

Coelho praised the piracy site and urged his readers to download his work on peer-to-peer file sharing sites. The decision has already generated hundreds of comments–what do you think?

Check it out: “The Pirate Bay starts today a new and interesting system to promote arts. Do you have a band? Are you an aspiring movie producer? A comedian? A cartoon artist? They will replace the front page logo with a link to your work. As soon as I learned about it, I decided to participate. Several of my books are there, and as I said in a previous post, ‘My thoughts on SOPA,’ the physical sales of my books are growing since my readers post them in P2P sites. Welcome to download my books for free and, if you enjoy them, buy a hard copy – the way we have to tell to the industry that greed leads to nowhere.” (Image via)

Megaupload Founder & Employees Indicted

The founder and some employees of the file sharing site Megaupload have been indicted by federal prosecutors. The site, which once hosted pirated copies of books, comic books, movies, software and other digital goods, has been shut down.

Below, we’ve embedded the complete indictment–alleging that the pirated material on the site caused “estimated harm” of $500 million for copyright holders. How do you think these massive piracy cases should be handled?

Here is an excerpt: “Since at least September 2005, Megaupload.com has been used by the defendants and other members and associates of the Mega Conspiracy to willfully reproduce and distribute many millions of infringing copies of copyrighted works, including motion pictures, television programs, musical recordings, electronic books, images, video games,and other computer software. Over the more than five years of its existence, the Mega Conspiracy has aggressively expanded its operations into a large number of related Internet businesses, which are connected directly to, or at least financially dependent upon, the criminal conduct associated with Megaupload.com.”

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Louis CK Collects $1M in PayPal Sales of DRM-Free Show

In less than two weeks, comedian Louis CK has counted $1 million from sales of his “Live at the Beacon Theater” comedy DVD on PayPal. The comedian sold the DVD for $5 to fans without any digital rights management (DRM) protection.

Nearly all digital books currently contain some sort of DRM protection–making it harder for readers to take notes, read on different devices or share the book. Publishers and authors should read Louis CK’s argument against using these tools to restrict your readership.

Here’s more from the post: “This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use.”

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John Wiley & Sons Sues BitTorrent Users

Publisher John Wiley & Sons has filed a lawsuit against 27 BitTorrent users who distributed digital copies of books from the For Dummies series without authorization. Follow this PDF link to download the suit.

According to TorrentFreak, the complaint lists charges that include copyright infringement, trademark infringement and trademark counterfeiting. They also noted that the ‘BitTorrent for Dummies‘ book is not mentioned in the suit. Publishers Weekly reports that the publisher intends to combat piracy by “educating and stopping people from illegally copying its content.”

Here’s more from the complaint: “Defendants are contributing to a problem that threatens the profitability of Wiley…For example, BitTorrent users on a single site, demonoid.me, have downloaded one of the works that is the subject of this suit, Photoshop CS 5 All-In-One For Dummies, more than 74,000 times since June 6, 2010 … The damage to Wiley includes hark to its goodwill and reputation in the marketplace for which money cannot compensate. Wiley is particularly concerned that its trademarks are used in connection with unauthorized electronic products, which could contain malicious viruses.”

Antipiracy Service Targets eBooks on File Sharing Sites

The Curtis Agency and E-Reads will tackle eBook piracy as a team, making it easier for authors to find pirated material and send take-down letters.

They have enlisted the technological assistance of Muso TNT, a company that targets piracy for other media industry clients. Muso developed a system that targets popular file sharing sites like RapidShare and Megaupload.

Here’s more from the article: “Using the Muso technology, legitimate content providers authorize the antipiracy service to launch search engine ‘spiders’ to crawl over the Internet and detect unauthorized files. A significant feature is that the search criterion is by author, not by title. As the spiders locate pirated files, they store the results on a password-protected login page for review.”

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Mary Roach Mailed $10 Apology from Book Pirate

Author Mary Roach shared a funny and timely story on Twitter recently, forgiving a reformed book pirate in a post.

She wrote: “This is a first: Guy mailed a fan letter, a $10 bill, and apologies for having downloaded a pirated copy of Packing for Mars. Forgiven.”

The post spawned a wide ranging conversation about book piracy on Reddit as different readers confessed to piracy. One reader explained: “I’ve actually bought books and then downloaded pirated copies because I prefer to read them on my computer.” Another reader added: “I’d be far more happy directly sending the author the money as opposed to giving it to a publishing house.”

 

Survey: ‘One in Every Three People Who Download eBooks on Their Digital Readers Do So Illegally’

The High Low tackled one of the toughest questions facing publishers: “Will eBooks become the next Napster?” They quoted some surprising statistics.

Here’s more from the article: “One in every three people who download e-books on their digital readers do so illegally, according to a survey of 1,959 consumers conducted by a British law firm … Record labels notoriously lost millions thanks to Napster (which was eventually ruled illegal), and now publishers are staring down the same tunnel.”

The same survey also revealed that twenty five percent of those who admitted to illegally downloading eBooks would continue to do so in the future. Because illegally downloaded books are not physical objects, pirates tend not to classify their activities as stealing. What do you think about this dilemma?

Top Pirated eBooks at The Pirate Bay

Today the file-sharers at The Pirate Bay attacked a European Union proposal that could set up a digital firewall blocking off file-sharing sites around Europe.

The Pirate Bay posted this message on the site: “the Battle of Internets is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of an Uncensored civilization! Upon it depends our own free life, and the long continuity of our sites and our trackers. The whole fury and might of the enemy will very soon be turned on us … if we fail, then the whole world, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.”

We continue to track the most popular single title eBooks (using the site’s “Top 100″ list for eBooks) on the file sharing site. As you can see by the list below (titles, but no links!), the most popular books aren’t the titles you might expect…

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Harry Potter & the Scholastic Private Detectives

At the Publishing Business Conference & Expo, Copyright Clearance Center business development director Christopher Kenneally lead a panel discussion about digital book piracy.

During the long interview, attorney Devereux Chatillon shared a story about working as general counsel at Scholastic during the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows–revealing the lengths that the publisher went throgh to keep the seventh book in the series offline. What do you think?

Here’s an excerpt from the PDF: “Someone took photographs digitally and put them up on the Internet. And there were a number of things that were interesting about that. One is, we had a few of those pop up. I could be on the phone with their father within literally hours of when it appeared on the Internet, and we could have a private investigator or a lawyer in their driveway, which we did, knocking on the door saying, hi, I’m from Scholastic. And again, we didn’t want to sue people. It wasn’t about the market. It wasn’t about lost sales. It was about we wanted to keep the basically audience for the children together and out of the mainstream so that they could get to that midnight moment, which everyone really loved.”

YouTube Unveils Copyright School Program

Today YouTube unveiled a brand new YouTube Copyright School program, sentencing users who upload copyrighted material to watch the video embedded above and take an online quiz.

What do you think about this new model of piracy punishment–could work for eBook and print infringement as well? As of this writing, the video tutorial has earned more than 300 views, with 40 likes and 80 dislikes.

Check it out: “If we receive a copyright notification for one of your videos, you’ll now be required to attend “YouTube Copyright School,” which involves watching a copyright tutorial and passing a quiz to show that you’ve paid attention and understood the content before uploading more content to YouTube. YouTube has always had a policy to suspend users who have received three uncontested copyright notifications. This policy serves as a strong deterrent to copyright offenders. However, we’ve found that in some cases, a one-size-” fits-all suspension rule doesn’t always lead to the right result.”

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