Posts tagged ‘e-books’

TorrentFreak: German Police Raid 121 Homes in Massive Pirate Site Crackdown

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

boerseLast week news broke that police in Germany had carried out raids looking for the operators of Kinox.to, a manhunt that’s still ongoing.

The police actions are part of a large investigation into the local piracy scene in Germany which are today followed by one of the largest anti-piracy raids in history, involving the link forum Boerse.bz.

Police headquartered in Cologne have just announced that they carried out raids on 121 homes across the country. The police are gathering evidence on the operators of the popular linking forum and many of the raided homes are connected to active contributers to the site.

The police raids involved around 400 police officers who seized numerous computers, hard drives and other storage media. No arrests have been made thus far but some suspects have reportedly been willing to cooperate.

According to the authorities the suspects have shared a considerable number of movies, music albums, software and e-books via various cyberlockers and Boerse.bz over a long period of time.

These files were shared among an estimated 2.7 million Boerse.bz users and the uploaders reportedly earned referral commissions of up to several thousand euros per month through various cyberlockers.

The raids are the result of a criminal complaint filed by German anti-piracy outfit GVU. According to GVU, Boerse.bz is offering more than 100,000 files without permission from rightsholders, including 61,776 movies and 13,560 TV-shows.

Most of the evidence the police acted on was provided to the police by GVU, who say that Boerse.bz is a highly structured operation with a clear division of labor.

Despite the massive police force that was used in today’s raids and those of last week, both Kinox.to and Boerse.bz remain online. The alleged operators of the sites are still on the run.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Piracy Takedown Notices Increase E-Book Sales, Research Finds

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

book-pirateIn an attempt to limit the availability of pirated content, copyright holders send millions of takedown requests to online services every week.

The effectiveness of these anti-piracy measures is often in doubt, since the pirated files usually reappear quickly elsewhere. But, according to new research they do have some effect.

Imke Reimers, an economics researcher affiliated with NBER and Northeastern University, examined the effectiveness of these takedown notices on book sales. The results, published in the working paper “The Effect of Piracy Protection in Book Publishing,” show that e-books sales increase as a result of the takedown efforts.

In her research Reimers compares sales of book titles before and after takedown notices are issued, to see the effect on book sales across different titles, genres and formats. The study is the first of its kind and reaches the conclusion that piracy protection increases e-book sales.

“This paper is the first to empirically analyze the interaction of online piracy and the legal market for books. It finds that piracy protection significantly increases regular unit sales of e-books, while the effect on physical formats is not as clear,” Reimers writes.

“E-books, the closest substitute for online piracy benefit from piracy protection by selling 15.4% more units, while there is no significant effect on other formats,” she adds.

A 15 percent increase in e-book sales is quite significant, and translates to millions of dollars in revenue across the industry. For other book formats, including hardcovers, paperback and audiobooks, no sales increase was observed.

The research controlled for a wide variety of third-party variables that could have influenced the results. Based on the current data Reimers is confident that the sales increase can indeed be attributed the takedown notices. However, she also spots differences in the impact on established and starting writers.

More specifically, piracy doesn’t appear to pose a threat to the e-book sales of starting authors and could even serve as a promotional tool.

“The effect varies by the title’s level of popularity. For well-known books and those by popular authors, online piracy mainly poses a threat to regular book sales, while authors who are just starting out could benefit from the additional platform. My results support this idea, at least for e-books,” Reimers writes.

TorrentFreak reached out to Reimers who notes that it might be a good idea for some authors to share some of their work online.

“I find no evidence that piracy protection is ‘bad’ for any books, but it seems that more obscure titles could benefit from the advertising effect of pirated versions. Some emerging authors offer their titles or excerpts of their titles for free on their websites – exactly to advertise their works. My results suggest that this might be a smart move,” she tells us.

The research is based on data from Digimarc, one of the leading piracy protection firms for the book industry. Needless to say, the company is happy to hear that their efforts indeed appear to have an effect.

“This new research strongly validates our position that Digimarc Guardian’s anti-piracy strategies provide a substantial return-on-investment for customers, in the form of increased legitimate sales and revenue,” Chris Shepard, Director of Product Management at Digimarc, informs us.

Digimarc assured TorrentFreak that they had no hand in the academic research other than providing the piracy takedown data.

The sales data used for the research comes from the leading independent e-book publisher RosettaBooks. Needless to say, they are also happy with the results.

“Rightsholders feel exposed or taken advantage of by piracy. We believe that Digimarc’s services improve our overall sales and the effect of dampened piracy greatly exceeds the cost of the service,” Greg Freed, eBook Production and Distribution Director at RosettaBooks tells TorrentFreak.

While the research indicates that takedown notices can have a positive effect on e-book sales, future research will have to show whether or not this can be generalized to other industries, including the movie and music business.

In any case, with the above in mind it’s expected that the volume of takedown notices will only increase in the near future, a trend that has been going on for several years now.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.