The UK Publisher’s Association has successfully gained an order to have that country’s five main internet service providers block consumer access to websites promoting the online theft of ebooks.
Investigations found at least 80 per cent of the reportedly 10 million ebook titles on seven offshore websites were infringing copyright and almost a million takedown notices had been issued to the sites. The sites make substantial sums of money from referral fees and advertising, with none of that income returning to publishers or authors.
The UK Publishers Association Chief Executive, Richard Mollet, said: “A third of publisher revenues now come from digital sales but unfortunately this rise in the digital market has brought with it a growth in online infringement. Our members need to be able to protect their authors’ works from such illegal activity; writers need to be paid and publishers need to be able to continue to innovate and invest in new talent and material.” Read the media release here.
The UK decision reflects our own situation in Australia where a two-pronged approach aims to curb online piracy.
Firstly, the creative and telecommunications sectors have jointly established a new code to combat internet piracy. It involves an escalating series of infringement notices being issued to repeat infringers and has been submitted for registration to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
At the same time, the Federal Government has legislation before the Senate to allow rights holders to apply to a court for an order requiring ISPs to block offshore websites promoting online theft.
The Copyright Agency supports these moves and will continue to campaign for copyright and stand up for creators’ rights.
Murray St Leger,