Freebie Booksite Taken Down by Google Reappears One Hour Later. Is Your Book Being Given Away Here?

Screw you, Google. And you, publishers.  And you, authors.

That’s the underlying message in an announcement published by ClubFreebie, a website offering free books by Clive Cussler, Anne Tyler, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Janet Evanovich, Anne McCaffery, Robert Coover, Neal Stephenson and Gina Showalter. And that’s just one package. There are over two dozen of them.

Taken down by Google, ClubFreebie boasted it was back in business one hour later.  “I honestly don’t know why they bother!” the club admin sneered, issuing a new URL to find the reconstituted website.  A click on the URL  (not provided here) takes you to “The Free Book Guide. Click Here to Collect Your Complimentary Books!” The link takes you to a page with over 25 links to audio, video and book mixes offered to members free. “Use the menu on the left to view the book collections, when you find something you like, click on the link and download it. It’s as easy as that!”

“Please note,” the message concludes, “Our pages get shut down on a regular basis (the book companies do not like us!) so join the club (form below) and you will never miss out on the latest goodies!”

Is ClubFreebie legal?  Here’s its disclaimer: “Please note that we are not the ‘hosts’ of any books, neither did we upload them to any hosting provider. We simply find links to books that were freely available on the web and share our findings with our members.”

Here’s the message in full:



The Complimentary Books Site has Changed Location!

Dear Members

It would seem that Google finally took down the ‘Books’ site (due to terms of service!… which means that some book publishers complained!!). Anyway, after just an hour, the new site is ‘live again’

I honestly don’t know why they bother!

Please use the following url to find the new site as this will always point to the new Google pages as they are created

The Free Book Guide. Click Here to Collect Your Complimentary Books!

It’s always fun and games trying to get these nice ‘goodies’ to the membership!!


Club Admin

This message is being sent to you because you or the author are a member of ClubFreebie, a network created using SocialGO. If you are interested in creating your own network, please click here.
Click here to unsubscribe from future emails


For full coverage of book piracy, click on our Pirate Central feature


8 Responses to Freebie Booksite Taken Down by Google Reappears One Hour Later. Is Your Book Being Given Away Here?

  1. ryan field says:

    Great. Now I have to worry about another pirate? And this one sounds just like the rest: they couldn’t care less.

  2. b says:

    Why do you hate libraries? If publishers would set ebook prices to reflect their reduced opportunity cost of not having to comply with right of first sale for DRMed electronic goods, piracy would not be so lucrative. There is significantly reduced value to the customer in the lack of ability to share and give away their copy of the book. The customer can’t even give it away to the local library when finished with it, and yet it costs more than a paperback book. How sad.

    Not to mention the reduced material, manufacturing, and shipping costs, or the effects of stripping and dumping.

    I for one am waiting for the market or other effect to settle this before moving from paper to bits.

  3. robin says:

    the market is settling this.

    to an intelligent business, “piracy” is market intelligence pointing to weaknesses/holes in their marketing and sales. holes one could sell to.

    fighting the market is fighting your potential customers, and calling them names is certainly intelligent too.

  4. Teddy says:

    I’m with you, b. Since an ebook is only a license to read, not the purchase of personal property, it should be much cheaper than any physical copy – for all the reasons you give. Until publishers understand that this is the mindset of many ebook readers and price their product accordingly, piracy will continue to grow. I am not a tech-savvy person, but I figured out how to strip the DRM off of my purchased ebooks. DRM did not turn me into a pirate. High prices did. And you know what surprised me? Pirating an ebook – whether from a direct download site, torrent, IRC or usenet – is much easier than stripping DRM. This holiday season will put ebook readers into the hands of many, many more people. I think sticker shock on ebooks will have a lot of them exploring download options, and once they discover how simple pirating is they may be lost as paying customers. Low prices would have kept me off the piracy track, and it’s not too late to keep millions of others from going that route. But prices have to come down, and frankly I don’t think the major publishers are willing to consider the long-term implications of their pricing strategies. They are being reactive instead of proactive, and it will cost them in the end.

  5. Rowena Cherry says:

    Thank you for immortalizing the “Disclaimer”. Now tell me, don’t the remarks void their OCILLA protections?

    Moreover, surely by now it has occurred to some of the authors and publishing house lawyers to complain to Yahoo (it’s a Yahoo Group as well as a Social Go site) and Google (a Picasa site is involved).

    Here, courtesy of Wikipedia, is what OCILLA says about when “Safe Harbor” applies, and when it does not.


    The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA) is United States federal law that creates a conditional safe harbor for online service providers (OSPs, including Internet service providers) and other Internet intermediaries by shielding them for their own acts of direct copyright infringement (when they make unauthorized copies) as well as shielding them from potential secondary liability for the infringing acts of others. OCILLA was passed as a part of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and is sometimes referred to as the “Safe Harbor” provision or as “DMCA 512” because it added Section 512 to Title 17 of the United States Code. By exempting Internet intermediaries from copyright infringement liability provided they follow certain rules, OCILLA attempts to strike a balance between the competing interests of copyright owners and digital users.

    …..First, the OSP must “adopt and reasonably implement a policy”[2] of addressing and terminating accounts of users who are found to be “repeat infringers.”[2] Second, the OSP must accommodate and not interfere with “standard technical measures.”[3] OSPs may qualify for one or more of the Section 512 safe harbors under § 512(a)-(d), for immunity from copyright liability stemming from: transmitting [4], caching [5], storing [6], or linking [7] to infringing material. An OSP who complies with the requirements for a given safe harbor is not liable for money damages, but may still be ordered by a court to perform specific actions such as disabling access to infringing material.

    Section 512(c) applies to OSPs that store infringing material. In addition to the two general requirements that OSPs comply with standard technical measures and remove repeat infringers, § 512(c) also requires that the OSP: 1) not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, 2) not be aware of the presence of infringing material or know any facts or circumstances that would make infringing material apparent, and 3) upon receiving notice from copyright owners or their agents, act expeditiously to remove the purported infringing material.

  6. Rowena Cherry says:

    The “Free Book Guide” is no library. With a library, a patron eventually has to return the book. These alleged pirates are suggesting that “members” download (ie reproduce) copies of the e-books and “give” these illegal copies to other people as gifts.

    That is not what happens with libraries!

  7. Rowena Cherry says:

    What I do not understand is why Greg Bear and hundreds of other authors whose work is being shared by this group have not complained to Yahoo.

    One of the prime homes of this piracy is a YAHOOGROUP

    Subscribe to freebookclub
    Powered by

    Only a copyright owner can complain.

    When I complained about the abuse of Yahoo TOS, I was banned from membership (of the Yahoogroup).

  8. Rowena Cherry says:


    In the latest posting from this pirate site, they tell innocent readers “…PLUS; as a Premium Member, you can MAKE MONEY by sharing your links with friends etc!”

    Unfortunately, those who take the pirates’ advice may not realize that profiting from piracy puts them into a whole new category.

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