Saturday, April 04, 2009

Exposing the Pirates

We applaud the UK Publishers Association for their development and free members access to a powerful new tool, which simplifies the process of having infringing content taken down. The tool effectively distributes the workload and leverages the benefits of information sharing between members. Members simply log, enter the details of the infringement. The system identifies the ISP, checks for repeat infringers, and automatically drafts and serves an appropriate notice.

More info at

This is a great start. Unlike many of the other media sectors book publishing is not consolidated and there are thousands of publishers and copyright owners. Asking them all to police this is unworkable. But it goes past publishers and also impact agents and authors and they should surely also have access and share the same resource. Then we have the global position and yet more fragmentation. Finally we have the orphan works which will be unable to be defended. Who will protect them, or are they fair game for all?

If we are to have any hope in suppressing the pirates we must move from reactive measures to proactive ones.

We would go further and suggest that industry papers such as the Bookseller and PW should publish the statistics, a worst offenders top ten and raise the profile, such that it becomes uncomfortable for those merely waiting for take down notices and not doing anything to avoid them. Naming and shaming could work both ways, but we would suggest that it should also start to raise public awareness now before it becomes an epidemic. The public conscious must be raised and as proven this week in Sweden, many will wish to live within the law. The key is not to go after the individual’s but to stop their source of distribution and close down their visibility.

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