Tormented by Pirates, Wiley Goes After the Little Fish

Of the many ways for publishers to combat copyright infringement, the one they have been loath to employ is  to sue the end user.  Because some downloaders may be ignorant kids or confused old people, going after them can be a public relations disaster, making the righteous plaintiffs look like corporate bullies and turning the defendants into  folk heroes. But there’s a limit to restraint, and after Bit Torrent users on the website illegally downloaded a Dummies book almost 75,000 times, the publisher of the series reached it.

“John Wiley & Sons ,” reports Publishers Weekly, “filed a copyright infringement suit last week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York involving 27 ‘John Does’ the publisher claims are illegally copying and distributing its For Dummies books through the use of Bit Torrent file sharing software. At present, Wiley only knows the IP addresses and names of the information services providers of the John Does, but a company spokesperson said the intent of the lawsuit is to learn the names of the infringers so the company can contact them to work out a settlement.”

Though Wiley hasn’t actually sued anyone yet, that is clearly an option if one of the John Does becomes a John Screw You.  Lawsuits against end users have been brought by music and movie companies after they exhausted more moderate measures. (See Fileshare This) And though those actions have provoked great outrage by the victims and their libertarian defenders, some pirates have been put out of business and many end users have thought twice before clicking on Download.  But Wiley seems to be a rare instance of such an action in the book industry. For details read Wiley Goes After Bit Torrent Pirates.

For the full archive of E-Reads piracy postings, visit Pirate Central, especially Curtis Agency, E-Reads Launch Program to Neutralize Pirates

Richard Curtis


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