An update on that Cudo pirated e-books story from last night: an article in the Sydney Morning Herald covers the firestorm of controversy that has erupted around the offer of a $99 e-reader shipped with a CDROM full of 4,000 e-books, many of which were illicit copies of still-in-copyright titles.

Cudo very quickly backpedaled, shifting blame for the debacle to the vendor, “”, which offered the bundle to it.

”Despite the merchant’s assurances that the offer complies with all relevant Australian laws, including copyright laws, our assessment of the 4000 e-book titles being offered determined this may not be the case,” [Cudo]’s CEO, Mike Sneesby, said.

No, really? And no one could be bothered to look at that list of titles before you actually offered it for sale? New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts isn’t really buying it either, saying that such sites should not be able to get away with blaming their vendors when they are caught offering shady deals.

HarperCollins, whose works were among those listed on the CD, said that its solicitor would shortly be contacting Cudo. Meanwhile, Cudo says it will not be shipping the offending CDs, and will be sending purchasers a higher-quality e-reader device instead.

It’s nice Cudo has been shamed into doing the right thing. The question remains, though: why was the site either malfeasant or incompetent enough to offer the CDs in the first place?

(Found via John Scalzi.)


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