From e-reads:

To All Authors and Agents: New Process for Reporting Suspected Book Piracy

As you know, Harlequin shares our authors’ concerns about the adverse effects of piracy in any medium, particularly online, and undertakes to actively protect copyrighted materials. To date, thousands of infringing pages have been taken down. This level of success has only been possible with the co-operation of our authors in bringing potentially infringing pages and sites to our attention. Historically, authors have done this by forwarding information to a dedicated e-mail box at

Going forward we are streamlining and enhancing the enforcement process through the use of an online portal for the reporting of suspected piracy. We have chosen an online portal operated by Attributor Corporation, which provides copyright monitoring and enforcement services to a number of publishers.

Effective immediately, we ask that authors and their agents submit their takedown requests through Attributor’s online portal available at

The online portal will provide you with directions on how to enter and submit information regarding infringing pages or sites. We anticipate enforcement will be undertaken more expeditiously and effectively through this service.

Please continue to keep in mind the following points before you submit information through the new online portal:

* Confirm that a result on a search page is an actual link to an infringing download on a hosting site. In particular we ask that you double check before submitting pages where links are listed under the heading “Sponsored Links” and make sure that the download has not already been removed. If you need further clarification, Attributor has a helpful webpage that will assist in identifying legitimate infringing links –;

* Please ensure you include the author name and title for each link to be removed. If the book is in a foreign language, please provide the title and author name in English;

* Do not submit repeated requests for removal of results from a search page. The infringing download link on the hosting site will be removed, but will not necessarily be removed from the search index. For example, if you do a search on or and find a link to an infringing download on, the link to the infringing download on will be removed, but the reference to it on or may not be removed. Verify that the infringing download link really exists by clicking on the link before reporting results from a search page;

Please do not send e-mails reporting infringing links to Going forward, messages to will result in a response redirecting the sender to the Attributor online portal.

We also continue to encourage you to contact the operators of websites directly, in your capacity as a rights holder, to have infringing material taken down. Many authors are already doing this with good results. In some cases, content is removed more quickly when the request comes directly from the author.

Thank you again for your continuing assistance in the fight against book piracy.

The Report Piracy Team


  1. I assume that the creators of this ‘campaign’ have not seen for themselves the vastness of bit torrent or 4 shared (to name but a tiny fraction). How utterly silly to waste money on “raising awareness” when youths, teens and pre-teens already use said free services on a daily basis. The money used in such a useless campaign would be more wisely spent for hiring a gaggle of full-timers to hunt down torrent links and issue DMCA Takedown Notices repeatedly, taking small bites out of crime…

  2. For every hole plugged, 10 more open up. The point here is the people downloading books weren’t going to buy a new book anyways. Same people that used to get everything from libraries or from yard sales or 2nd hand bookstores now download. Get over it.

  3. ChrisC: Fair use, I should think. It doesn’t detract from the publisher’s ability to make money, which is one of the criteria used to make that judgement. (Technically I’m told that means it’s still infringement; fair use just means you get away with a penalty… I don’t really understand that part myself though).

    If an author is distressed by noticing a specific act of piracy, I think it’s a perfectly reasonably service for their publisher to offer. It’s just unfortunate they’re not making more of an attempt to educate at the same time. “Infringing pages” is overly specific; a lot of the infringing content won’t be in the form of a web page, but a downloadable ebook file. _Some_ will be – Scribd and the odd university page – but I’m not sure that’s the biggest problem area.

    Though I think some of the negative reaction here is visceral, from having similar third-party action go very wrong in the past. I think that’s a valid concern — they need to see this as out-sourcing the drudge work of sending correct takedown notices, and not some sort of magic fix that frees them from having to think about it.

  4. Sorry, this is a service and a task a publisher should provide, nothing you would want your authors to waste time and effort on.

    Take two or three interns and let them do that. And let the authors write. “Is you romance finished by now?” “Nope, but I hunted down two more priacy sites!” Great …

  5. If you look at what Attributor do, that’s actually their biggest selling point – scanning the Net for infringing copies.

    That doesn’t mean authors don’t appreciate having someone to call if they’ve gone to see what people think of their book, and found an unauthorized free download as the top search result.

    I can certainly see how the release gives that impression though. Attributor basically fail at communication. If they were really thinking about supporting their clients, they’d make sure news articles like this included a link to the consumer education page they harp on about.

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