UK ISPs to block e-book piracy sites

In the first major move by The Publishers Association to tackle book piracy, UK internet service providers have started banning over 1.7 million URLs focused on e-book piracy.

The move would see services like AvaxHome, Ebookee, Freebookspot, Freshwap, Libgen, Bookfi and Bookre blocked from UK users, although savvy internet users would be able to bypass these blocks through virtual private networks or proxies.

The past few years has seen the growth of e-book piracy, as the DRM provided by Amazon, Apple and other book services became less impervious to skilled crackers.

Once the DRM was cracked, the books could be freely distributed to millions of users.

Amazon pushed some radical price drops through the internet five years back, which led Apple, Google and book publishers to create private pricing agreements, however, that seems to have not deterred pirates.

Piracy rates continued to increase and it seemed, no matter how cheap Amazon made books, there would always be those for whom books were free material.

Amazon had been trying to strike a balance between the interests of librararies and book sellers through a new programme called Kindle Unlimited and reports have it, that it planned to implement more ''free'' book reading, perhaps only allowing the user to read the book for a week, before setting a paywall for any further reading.

The movie, music and luxury goods industries had to resort to similar measures to have over 100 other sites blocked.

According to The Publishers Association over 80 per cent of the material it had found on the ad-supported platforms involved, had infringed copyright.

According to Richard Mollet, the body's chief executive, a third of publisher revenues now came from digital sales but unfortunately the rise in the digital market had brought with it a growth in online infringement, BBC reported.

He added, the association's members needed to be protect their authors' works from such illegal activity.

He added, writers needed to be paid and publishers needed to be able to continue to innovate and invest in new talent and material.

Meanwhile, the administrator of Freebookspot - which provides links to others' uploads but does not host eBooks itself - had posted a message to the site claiming to have deleted over 10,000 titles following the ruling, in an apparent attempt to avoid the ban.