Moon+ Reader is one of the better e-reading apps out there and has been around a number of years. It has a storied development history and was available in Google Play and iTunes. We have confirmation that today both app markets have removed Moon+ Reader due to allegations of ebook piracy.
Apparently Moon+ Reader was not alone in the recent piracy probe, and other reading apps including CoolReader and “Reader” were affected. Moon+ Reader was the only developer that did not answer the questions posed to them from Apple and Google, and removed the app.
The entire saga begins with many of the most popular e-reader apps using a format called Open Publication Distribution System. It allows users to tap into legitimate and sometimes quite shady ebook stores to download books directly within the app. The most recent version of Moon+ Reader included a link to a pirate ebookstore called TUeBL. This inflamed various author communities and users alike. They started to stir up drama which gained the attention of larger businesses.
Russian ebook company Litres was one of the main forces that petitioned Google Play and Apple for removing the links. They issued a press release a few hours ago that said “many of the post popular indie reading apps included pre-installed links to a pirated library as the main source for books. We, in turn, protecting the rights of cooperating authors and publishers are in regular content with the administrator’s of such applications to remove links to pirated content sources.” They wrapped up the release and said “We apologize to all users of the applications and Moon + Reader “Reader” for the temporary inconvenience and inability to read books in their favorite applications. We are confident that in the near future these applications will reappear in Google Play and AppStore.”
The main Moon+ Reader developer issued a statement on the matter that said “A nasty thing happened, Moon+ Reader and Moon+ Reader Pro have been removed from Google Play since 2:00PM 2013/1/31 because a request email from a Russia company “litres.ru” to Google Play team, Google didn’t make any investigation and confirmation, they just removed my reader from the Play directly. I’m a weak personal developer, I devote myself to this project for years; I and my family live on the revenue from the reader only, here I thank so many warm-heart users, you help me to improve the product, it gets 5,000,000-10,000,000 downloads in Google Play today, and has up to 40 locale languages support, I’m proud for you.”
It looks like Moon+ Reader is unavailable at least for a month, while the developers and the various app markets go back and fourth on the changes. In the meantime, you can get the most recent version of Moon+ Reader from our own Good e-Reader App Store, sans the pirate version.
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.