Saturday, November 26, 2011

Book publishers now doing what the big music labels were doing a decade ago -- suing downloaders and file-sharers.

Two weeks ago, publisher John Wiley made headlines by suing 27 internet users who were allegedly swapping editions of the popular “For Dummies” series online. The campaign appears to be working because John Wiley has now doubled-down on its effort by suing dozens more people. The prime targets this time include novice cooks and gardeners.
The litigation campaign reflects the fact that, in recent years, unauthorized file-sharing has become a problem for book publishers in the same way it has for the music and movie industry. In terms of file size, books are tiny compared to songs or videos and this makes it quick and easy for people to swap online copies. John Wiley claims that, since 2010, people have downloaded its “DOS for Dummies” title more than 74,000 times on the website
In a new lawsuit filed this week in New York federal court, John Wiley named more “John Doe” defendants and listed the titles they downloaded along with their location and IP address. Unlike a similar suit filed two weeks ago, the list of alleged offenders does not include many technology aficionados. Instead, the new list of miscreants is made up primarily of people from upstate New York towns like Rochester and Woodstock who shared “Cooking Basics For Dummies” and “Vegetable Gardening For Dummies.”

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