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Old 06-14-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
JanG
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What do you know about the site "Scribd?"

I ask because last year someone uploaded my book, in its entirety, to the site (they called it published) without my permission. Now two books written by a friend of mine have been uploaded, yes they're still calling it published.

All three books were taken from Feedbooks.

Has anyone else experienced this?

--JanG.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:27 PM   #2
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"Scribd is a social publishing site, where tens of millions of people share original writings and documents. Scribd's vision is to liberate the written word."

Essentially, it's a way to upload and share documents online. Often, it's used for distributing documents without permission.

Get a hold of Scribd about removing the documents in question, and, if you're distributing them for free, upload them yourself! It's exposure, if nothing else!
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:31 PM   #3
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I've seen a number of flat-out pirated items on there. I've also gone back and noticed that they had been removed, so it appears that they will respond to people who are trying to protect their copyrights.

Good luck!

Last edited by curiousrobot; 06-14-2010 at 12:34 PM. Reason: grammar!
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:44 PM   #4
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I had mine removed within days of it appearing and the uploader was banned. My friend is going to try and do the same.

I was just wondering why they allow such blatant flouting of copyright.

--JanG.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanG View Post
I had mine removed within days of it appearing and the uploader was banned. My friend is going to try and do the same.

I was just wondering why they allow such blatant flouting of copyright.

--JanG.
How are they supposed to know that the uploader was infringing on your copyright?

BTW, if you are already giving the ebook away at Feedbooks, why would you care about it being uploaded elsewhere?
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:52 PM   #6
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Presumably the uploader is claiming them as their own work, rather than acknowledging the correct authorship.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:01 PM   #7
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How are they supposed to know that the uploader was infringing on your copyright?

BTW, if you are already giving the ebook away at Feedbooks, why would you care about it being uploaded elsewhere?
I think it's the principle of the thing rather than the infringement. Yes, books are free at Feedbooks, and all publicity is good publicity. If the person had asked I probably would've said 'sure, go ahead.'

But there are books uploaded onto the site that not available for free at Feedbooks or elsewhere.

--JanG.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:15 PM   #8
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I was just wondering why they allow such blatant flouting of copyright.
Since they banned someone for violating your copyright, and deleted the book, it seems to me that they don't allow it.

Why does MobileRead allow spam, especially from those video editing guys? True, the spam is deleted as soon as it's reported, and the spammer is immediately banned, but that's the same as allowing it, right?

Basically, there's no way that a site like Scribd could possibly research the copyright status of every item uploaded there, from people's outdated D&D character sheets to multi-hundred-thousand-word rants about the evils of government. They "allow" violations of their policies because they can't know, until someone tells them, that those policies are being violated. The same is true of Feedbooks, YouTube, this forum, the comments section in Joe Schmoe's blog, and just about anything else that allows any type of user-created content.

When some AOL user is handing out cracked versions of your software and AOL won't do jack about it until you get the FBI involved, then it's time to worry. (on the plus side, some junior wanna-be warez d00d, who was apparently about 13, got to explain to his mommy why the nice FBI man was at the door...)
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanG View Post
I was just wondering why they allow such blatant flouting of copyright.
How do you think they're supposed to stop it? Even Amazon has "published" copyright infringing material submitted by users.

There's no way a hosting company can research the copyright status of submissions. You saw the infringement, notified them, and they took it down. That's the way it's supposed to work.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:17 PM   #10
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Yep, there isn't much Scribd can do about it, especially with the flood of self-published (but still copyrighted) material on teh Intarnets.

Unfortunately, it's pretty much up to you, as a content creator, to keep an eye on your intellectual property.

Try being a professional photographer, those guys get jacked all the time.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanG View Post
I think it's the principle of the thing rather than the infringement. Yes, books are free at Feedbooks, and all publicity is good publicity. If the person had asked I probably would've said 'sure, go ahead.'

But there are books uploaded onto the site that not available for free at Feedbooks or elsewhere.

--JanG.
Once it's in a digital format and a copy gets out onto the internet, you can't do a thing. Oh sure, you could complain, even file a DMCA claim (if you're American and want to waste some time) but this is the internet. Protecting intellectual copyright is an illusion at best (as it should be)
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:50 PM   #12
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Once it's in a digital format and a copy gets out onto the internet, you can't do a thing.
It's bigger than that. There doesn't even need to be a digital format. "Bad" people scan physical books/pictures and then release them as digital.

I think the lesson here is that as soon as you release your work out into the public, you've essentially given up control of it. Yes, there are laws, etc, but the only way to maintain complete control is to not publish.

If you want to try to make a living off of your work, you have to give people access to it. Some people will use that access to do things you don't like. In the end, there's nothing you can really do about it. The question is, does it really hurt you enough to be worth worrying about?

In your case, you obviously wanted people to have access to the book for free. Once it was put on Scribd, even more people had access to the book for free. Was that really a bad thing? You mentioned that you probably would have agreed to it if they asked you. So, just because they didn't ask, you decided to have it taken down?

You mentioned it was the "principle" that mattered. What is the more important principle here? That people should be given access to your work and the publicity it brings, or the illusion of control?

I'm not trying to be critical of your decision, I'm just trying to see if I can get you to look at it in a different way.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:01 PM   #13
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I think it's more like, I don't mind if my kids hang out with friends after school, in fact I like the fact they have friends to do that with. But I'd like a phone call saying they're doing that.

So I'm a control freak? Yeah, probably.

I just wanted to know if anyone knew anything about the site. I'm sorry I caused any controversy.

--JanG.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:08 PM   #14
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I think it's more like, I don't mind if my kids hang out with friends after school, in fact I like the fact they have friends to do that with. But I'd like a phone call saying they're doing that.

So I'm a control freak? Yeah, probably.
Well, if you think of your books as your children, maybe.

Quote:
I just wanted to know if anyone knew anything about the site. I'm sorry I caused any controversy.
I don't think there's any controversy. Just some different opinions.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by JanG View Post
I think it's more like, I don't mind if my kids hang out with friends after school, in fact I like the fact they have friends to do that with. But I'd like a phone call saying they're doing that.

So I'm a control freak? Yeah, probably.

I just wanted to know if anyone knew anything about the site. I'm sorry I caused any controversy.

--JanG.
I think your reaction is totally understandable.

The thing about sites like Scribd (and Youtube, and *most* sites like it) is that they work "backwards" from what some people expect. Rather than being edited/controlled/monitored before making content published/made public, content is edited/controlled/monitored *after* they are made public, and usually only *after* someone actually complains.

Scribd is moving rapidly from a rather free-for-all dropbox for all things text, to an actual publishing model-it will be interesting to see how they deal with copyright/infringement/piracy as they move forward.
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