Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Megaupload – likely the tip of the iceberg in internet piracy

From the PANZ newsletter

Publishers, booksellers, authors – think the issues raised by the Kim Dotcom/Megaupload piracy case are not relevant to the book trade?
Think again.
Sam Elworthy, whose PANZ portfolio includes advocacy, says that file sharing sites like Megaupload and others already make pirated books available in large numbers.
“Digital piracy has a real impact on publishers’ ability to produce books when they are not getting a fair return on the investment they make in each publication. And it hurts our authors too. We have been working hard in New Zealand to make e-books readily available at a fair price, and with suitable copyright protection, so that these sites can’t just give away our intellectual property.”
Megaupload Limited and Vestor Limited along with seven individuals are believed to have generated more than US$175 million in criminal proceeds and caused more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners. Eighteen domain names have been seized.
Four of the seven, Kim Dotcom (aka Kim Schmitz), Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato, and Mathias Ortmann are currently held by the New Zealand courts awaiting extradition proceedings to enable them to be tried in the US.
This action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit intellectual property crime.
Sam Elworthy notes “Digital piracy isn’t just happening somewhere way off shore. It is happening right up the road from where we live and it’s impacting New Zealand books, music and films. For publishers it reinforces the importance of an active digital strategy and a wary eye so that you can take action when your titles start showing up as free downloads.”


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