Google hasn’t said much about the kudzu-like piracy problem in Google Play Books, or their recent decision to stop letting users register to upload books, but today i can report that someone is making Google take the problem seriously.
A reader has tipped me to the news that the Dutch publishers trade group NUV, or Nederlands Uitgeversverbond, issued a statement today about the piracy issue. When I last covered this topic I speculated that NUV had taken an interest in the pirated ebooks in Google Play Books, and I was right.
According to their statement, NUV sicced BREIN, a Dutch anti-piracy group, on Google. BREIN got the pirate booted from Google Play and the books removed from Google Play Books, and it is currently leaning on Google to hand over contact info for the seller.
And that’s where the matters currently sit.
While this doesn’t sound like much, the brief statement from NUV offers far more detail than Google has been willing to share. The most I (or anyone) have been able to get out of Google were blandly noncommittal statements (like the one about how it was taking this issue seriously).
Well, Google’s certainly taking the piracy issue seriously now.
Whether Google will actually repair the faulty system which enables pirates to engage in industrial scale commercial ebook piracy in Google Play Books, that is another matter.
Historically, the only step Google would take to fight piracy in Google Play Books was to respond to DMCA notices. It had neglected to use any type of algorithmic filter like ContentID on Youtube (even though Amazon and Scribd both have similar filters), and it generally wouldn’t ban a pirate even after many DMCA notices.
But that might be about to change. I checked with a source and was told that the piracy problem has lessened. This might be a sign that Google has changed their system to discourage pirates, but I cannot say that for sure at this time.
image by Free Grunge Textures