Last Thursday a Twitter user by the name of @updog7 scanned every single page of Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky’s new book, Money Pizza Respect, and spent the entire day tweeting the entire text. He then went one step further and published a copy of the book in PDF format on Google Drive. His rational was that Ostrovsky built his entire career on plagiarism. There was a number of media websites that linked to the e-book, such as V Club, NY Mag, Fusion, Flavorwire, Gawker and Salon. Hacehette has been sending a series of legal letters to have them remove all links to the e-book or face legal action.
This is the first time that media outlets have seen legal letters from Hachette by linking to a pirate e-book. Normally publishers employ sophisticated technology from Rightscorp.
Rightscorp is chiefly known for their digital loss prevention technology that tracks copyright infringement and ensures that owners and creators are rightfully paid for their IP. The music and video game industry have employed their tracking analytics that allows them to see what content is being distributed through Bittorrent and file sharing sites and then Rightscorp goes after the people involved. In April 2014 Rightscorp augmented their technology and signed up hundred of publishing companies and begun to actively go after eBook pirates.
Business is booming for Rightscorp right now. The company has just announced that it has closed over 170,000 cases of copyright infringement to date, up 40,000 since November 2014, representing an approximate 30% growth within a 2 month period. They have received settlement payments from subscribers of more than 200 ISPs and has approval to collect on over 1.5 million copyrights.
What I find interesting about Hachette going after these big media websites to remove links is that they were not using sophisticated technology, they simply used Google News Alerts to send cease and desist letters.
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.