If you follow ebook news, you might have heard of a site called GoodEreader.com. At first glance it looks like a news site. It has a blog, podcast, and a monthly magazine, and they even opened an ereader store last week. But all of that is all a facade that they are using to hide their true activities.
GoodEreader.com is a pirate ebook website that’s been operating for a couple years now. It has been quietly known in ebook circles that they actively pirate ebooks, but no one wanted to do anything about it. We’ve all just been ignoring the matter, and it’s time that changed.
Here’s how they run their operation. They sell subscription access to a closed set of forums (that’s where you download the ebooks). You can buy a subscription by the day, month, year, or lifetime. I bought a monthly subscription ($12), which was a waste. It took me less than 2 minutes before I found pirated ebooks.
Name an author or series and you’ll find the ebooks. John Grisham? Yep, including cover images obviously ripped from Amazon. Harry Potter? That was easy. Ooh, here’s a bundle of 23 ebooks by Ian Rankin.
And it’s not like this is an accident or oversight on the part of the website’s staff. I checked, and most of these ebooks are uploaded _by_ the staff. They are willfully pirating ebooks. You can even ask them to pirate an ebook for you (it comes with the more expensive subscription levels). In fact, there’s a forum dedicated to the requests.
I bet you’re wondering how have they been getting away with this scheme for as long as they have. That’s probably because they’ve been very careful to maintain the facade. They add posts to their blog on a fairly regular basis. It’s almost never new news, though, because that might get someone’s attention. No, what they usually do is rewrite someone else’s story from the day before. And as a second step to support the facade, they never give credit. I’m pretty sure that was deliberate; if they linked to another news blog then that source might look them over and realize they were committing piracy.