Technology

EBook piracy sites to be blocked by UK net providers

FreeBookSpot
Image caption The owner of FreeBookSpot claims to have removed 10,000 eBook links following the Publishers Association's complaint

Seven websites that help users find unauthorised copies of eBooks are to be blocked in the UK by the country's leading broadband providers.

The Publishers Association has obtained a High Court order that requires the internet service providers (ISPs) to act by 9 June.

The offending sites are based overseas.

The movie, music and luxury goods industries have previously employed similar tactics to cause more than 100 other sites to be blocked.

The Publishers Association said that more than 80% of the material it had found on the ad-supported platforms involved, had infringed copyright.

"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," said the body's chief executive Richard Mollet.

"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."

The sites affected are:

  • AvaxHome
  • Bookfi
  • Bookre
  • Ebookee
  • Freebookspot
  • Freshwrap
  • LibGen

The administrator of Freebookspot - which provides links to others' uploads but does not host eBooks itself - has posted a message to the site claiming to have deleted more than 10,000 titles following the ruling, in an apparent attempt to avoid the ban.

However, its search tool still points users to download links for other copyright-protected eBooks.

Image caption Bookfi says it offers links to more than 2.2 million eBook titles via its search tool

The ISPs affected are BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE.

They typically require a court order before they will agree to block a website outright.

The Publishers Association also said that it had asked Google to remove more than 1.75 million links from its search results relating to material found on the offending sites.

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