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UK ISPs forced to block e-book piracy sites by High Court

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Book publishers have managed to convince the High Court to fight the battle against e-book piracy.

In a new legal victory for publishers, the High Court has now ordered internet service providers to block sites offering pirated e-books.

The order specifically applies to seven major websites which “have been found to contain substantial amounts of infringing content.”

This means that several ISPs now have ten working days to block their customers’ access to the sites.

The ISPs included in the order are BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, and EE.

Of the content on the websites, all of which are based overseas, over 80 per cent was found to be infringing copyright.

The Publishers Association has already issued nearly one million take down requests to the sites, and rights owners have asked Google to remove 1.75 million search results linking to copyrighted material on the sites.

The sites are currently estimated to hold around 10 million e-books, and “have been making substantial sums of money.”

“A third of publisher revenues now come from digital sales but unfortunately this rise in the digital market has brought with it a growth in online infringement,” explained Richard Mollet, Chief Exectuive of the PA.

He continued: “Our members need to be able to protect their authors’ works from such illegal activity; writers need to be paid and publishers need to be able to continue to innovate and invest in new talent and material.”

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Mollet added: “We are very pleased that the High Court has granted this order and, in doing so, recognises the damage being inflicted on UK publishers and authors by these infringing websites.”

Unfortunately for publishers, it’s likely the game of piracy whack-a-mole will continue, with more e-book piracy websites sure to pop up in the place of their forebears.

Do you think the High Court made the right decision? Let us know in the comments.

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