Wiley protecting authors from e-book abuse

May 19th, 2005

"Book publisher John Wiley & Sons sued a number of eBay sellers in the first months of 2005, in part to get the message out that selling Wiley e-books on eBay is illegal, according to Wiley's spokesperson. In one lawsuit, Wiley sued a college student, Carlos Velasco, who posted several auctions for Wiley e-books. The student and Wiley could not reach a settlement, and Wiley filed a lawsuit against Velasco on April 5, 2005."
Intellectual property (IP) is the author's income stream. They write, publishers publish and customers buy. That's how it works. Some of the cash from each sale of a book should make its way back to the author but there are times where this is circumvented by the dishonest.

Electronic books (e-books) are a growing trend in publishing and I have a number of titles that are available as e-books. E-books come equipped with copy protection and digital right management (DRM) built-in that goes some way to protecting the author and publisher from e-book abuse (where an e-book is sold illegally and neither the publisher or author get any cash) but these systems are far from secure (there's an old saying that goes something like "a lock only serves as protection from an honest person"). With one e-book a dishonest individual could start their own bookstore and sell an unlimited number of copies. Now I'm not going to make a case for making the copy protection or DRM on e-books better, in fact I think that current copy protection and DRM schemes punish the buyer too much. I've been a firm believer that action is what's needed and it's good to see Wiley taking a stand against possible IP infringements.

Well done Wiley!

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