This will mean that pirated books will be treated in the same way as pirate film or movie sites. The action requires BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE to block sites including Ebookee, LibGen and Freshwap within 10 days.
Site blocking has become the favoured tool of Big Content in Europe and the UK in particular. More than 120 domains are currently blocked by the country’s major ISPs, largely thanks to action taken by the movie and music industries plus soccer body The Premier League.
The Publishers Association has more than 100 members with combined revenues of £4.7 billion, went to the High Court to demand the blocking of several eBook focused download sites.
They are: Ebookee, LibGen, Freshwap, AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre and Freebookspot.
PA investigations found that over 80 per cent of the material made available by the sites infringed copyright. In total the sites are said to offer in excess of 10 million titles.
PA and its members claim to have sent close to one million takedown notices directly to the sites and requested that Google remove 1.75 million related URLs from its search results. However it seems that little actually happened.
In common with all previous similar actions initiated by the MPAA and BPI, The Publishers Association sued the UK’s leading ISPs – BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE – under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Presenting a case which demonstrated mass infringement on the eBook sites in question alongside evidence that the major ISPs have “actual knowledge” that their subscribers are infringing copyright, the PA argued that the sites should be blocked without further delay.
UK ISPs have long since given up defending these cases which is pretty much why the publishers won that quickly.
The ISPs listed in the injunction now have 10 days in which to implement a blockade.
High Court injunctions represent a new anti-piracy tool for The Publishers Association. In addition to its regular takedown work with search engines such as Google, The PA is also involved in City of London Police’s Operation Creative, run out of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). Last year PIPCU acted on The PA’s behalf by taking down a domain operated by eBook site OnRead.