Scribd is billing itself as a Netflix for eBooks and offers customers the ability to pay a low monthly fee and read as many digital titles as they want. This can be accomplished via their official e-reading apps for iOS and Android.
A number of larger publishers such as Simon and Shuster, Lonely Planet and Smashwords all contribute titles, which validates the platform as a viable alternative to buying each book one by one. One of the problems, is that publishers can upload titles without restriction and quality and control normally comes later.
The Group for the Development of Digital Reading aims to be the hub for all professionals working in the publishing industry to organize and structure the digital industry in a constructive complement to the paper. You can think of them as the poor mans IDPF of France, where they try and lobby for standards and bring issues into public light.
GDN is basically accusing Scribd of eBook piracy by offering hundreds of titles by French publisher Bragelonne, otherwise known as Albin Michel. The publisher has not sanctioned the titles to be included into Scribds platform.
Scribd CEO Trip Adler weighed in on the controversy and said “Scribd takes piracy very seriously and we’re continuously working to ensure only quality, authorized content is being uploaded. As with any user-generated content platform, users can break the rules and upload materials they do not have the right to share, but Scribd expressly and actively prohibits such activity. Our proprietary Book ID copyright protection system works by analyzing documents for semantic data, meta data, images, and other elements and creates an encoded “fingerprint” of the copyrighted work. If an author or publisher believes there is unauthorized use of their content, they should request removal of infringements through DMCA notification by completing this simple online form at http://scribd.com/report and Scribd will respond within 2 business days to valid DMCA notifications. Scribd’s Copyright Resource Center also provides publishers authors and users with valuable information on acceptable user behavior, copyright protection and Book ID.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.