Read article here
The Bulgarian Unit for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) has crushed an Internet-based network for illegal sale legal upload of books through the Internet site chitanka.info.
The unit has been alarmed for the piracy by the victims, which include the Bulgarian Book Association, the Union of translators in Bulgaria, and a number of publishing houses.
It's amazing. One person calls these people criminals in the press release and all the media in the country cites and fills the gaps as they please. As a result a group of people not unlike the uploaders of MobileRead are being arrested.
If this post misses some structure, that's because I'm so outraged, I don't know where to start.
I guess the (Bulgarian) law will be a good point. To sum the text up, you can basically do everything you want with a book/text without the copy right owners permission as long as you don't make profit from it and serve the public good. The law explicitly extends on digitalizing the content.
So these "criminals" spend tons of time (and I bet a lot of money) to build up an online library with free access for everybody. 95% of the content are text you just can't find. Books older than 10-15-20 years. Yes, there are some new texts, but in a normal county you could hope to rent a book published in this millennium from a library. The government in Bulgaria doesn't really sees it that way, and there is almost no funding for the "paper" libraries.
OK, there are no money, so someone says "hey, I have a lot of books at home, let's make them into .txt files and upload them for the people who can't find them. Like blind people, who can't read paper books, but could use a reading software." (there are no audio-books in Bulgaria, only stories for kids).
There were few public complaints from publishing houses, bun none of them started a process in court. Now if you as yourselves why the BIG pub.house doesn't start a case against the small man, you might come to the same conclusions: there is no legal base for a case.
So these publishing houses file up these multiple complaints, but not to the jurisdiction system, but to the executive one. And the police reacts. What I can't understand is the following:
Why is the police acting on behalf of publishing house(s)?
Where is the logic in filing a petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to give more money for saving the Bulgarian culture, books, libraries and improving the accessibility of books for everyone and simultaneously standing behind the attack against the biggest (There are some others, they seem to be legal, I guess. Or know where to pay their "insurance".) free library with access to thousands of books, most of them available only there? Cause that's what the "Bulgarian Book Association" did.
I do understand the publishing houses, though. I guess asking for around $30 for a book available on Amazon for $5,95 is just not enough to keep the incomes flowing.
P.S. I forgot to mention. There are no ebooks in Bulgaria.* The argument is "There are not enough people, who would read ebooks". (Then why do you act against an online library?
*Exception, there is one writing group which didn't have the money to publish their works, so they are selling them as PDFs. (no DRM) And one author is selling his book as a PDF too in addition to the printed edition.