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Russian EBookseller LitRes Gets Competing EBook Apps Booted From Google Play 145

Nate the greatest writes "The developer of the popular Android app Moon+ Reader was surprised to discover this weekend that he is a filthy stinking pirate. Google informed him via an automated email that Moon+ Reader had been removed from Google Play because the app had switched to using pirate sites as the main sources of ebooks. Or at least, that's what LitRes claims, but when they complained to Google LitRes didn't tell the whole truth. What was really happening is that users of the app are enabling piracy, not the app itself. Thanks to the way Moon+ Reader is designed to let users share links to ebook sources some of the sources are indeed pirate sites (less than your average Google Search). In reality the app was no more a source of pirated content than your average web browser. What do you say when an ebook distributor's anti-piracy plan involves going after app developers rather than pirate sites? Something printable, IMO."
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Russian EBookseller LitRes Gets Competing EBook Apps Booted From Google Play

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  • by Manfre ( 631065 ) on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:26PM (#42792439) Homepage Journal

    As the summary states, your argument applies equally to any web browser and google search, since those make it easy to find and download pirated material.

  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:26PM (#42792445) Homepage

    I wouldn't call Option #2 immoral. Any law banning a book is immoral in itself and should not be followed if you can help it.

    As for the piracy aspect, if you CAN'T buy it legally, the writer/publisher isn't losing any income when you pirate it. So morally you are in the clear; if the book is later legalized, though, you should definitely pay for it to show your support.

  • Unjust enrichment? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:12PM (#42792765) Homepage Journal

    Sounds to me like the Moon+ Reader author should sue LitRes for Unjust Enrichment [].

    Also, seriously: Google taking action on an illegal app without judicial oversight?

    This should be handled in exactly the same way as law enforcement requests: show the warrant first. (Or in this case, the judgement against.)

    Society is quickly descending into a feudal corporate arms race. These sorts of shenanigans should be stomped on with both feet. If you can't compete fairly, then you shouldn't be in business.

  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:20PM (#42792819)

    At a very technical level I see the point, however I notice two main differences. The first is that a browser is not built to circumvent copyrights. Browsers can share pirated goods inadvertently, where some software is built to share intentionally and avoid the copyrights. The second difference is that Google is, and all other web sites are, required to honor take down notices. Just to make sure that the previous statement is qualified, "required" should not imply "honored". The same does not always to apply to software designed for content sharing.

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:35PM (#42792909)

    > There is some material in printed/digital form that is illegal and morally reprehensible and should be banned

    That's a fallacy for a number of reasons:

    What's illegal in one country may not be in another.

    Who decides what is "morally reprehensible" ? You?? Moral's are not absolutes -- they are decided upon by each meta-layer of the community. If a community wishes to decide for itself that it won't sell or read certain books that is their choice -- but they don't have the right to shove their man-made dogma down the throats of its inhabitants.

    Governments need to get off their moral high horse and stop (trying) to dictate to others what its citizens can and can't read. Only a person who lives in fear tries to dictate morality to other people. That is never successful in the long run, anybody who says otherwise needs to pay attention to history. i.e.
    * []
    * []

    > There is damn good reasons for some forms of censorship
    Only cowards use censorship.

    There is obviously content I have absolutely no interest in reading / watching / listening to. I also realize _my_ morals do NOT over-ride another person's as long as nobody is getting hurt.

    If people are offended at a book's content then they need to grow the fuck up. They have a choice -- don't read it !! They also do NOT have the right to tell others what they can or can not read. We're all adults here. It's time to start treating others with respect even if you disagree with them.

    Fashion: fabricated fad.

  • by cheekyjohnson ( 1873388 ) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:36PM (#42792915)

    What about graphic pedophilia ?
    What about graphic torture/snuff ?

    Correct. It applies in this situations too. Or were you expecting someone to answer differently? You know, mentioning an extreme example is a good way to see whether or not someone really cares about free speech.

    would your like a book published

    I don't believe you should be able to restrict others' rights simply because you're offended by what they say.

    and you will ALWAYS find some section of the community who disagrees for what ever reason.

    Exactly. When you're on the chopping block, that won't be so fun, now will it?

  • by mcneely.mike ( 927221 ) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:46PM (#42792977)
    Yes, it's the same as the photocopier in the library... it can be used to facilitate breaking copyright laws... should the librarian be jailed or the photocopier maker be shut down for this ability?
  • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:51PM (#42793019)

    People jumped down Napster's throat because it didn't have substantial non-infringing uses. FTP, web browsers, Google, and other such technologies you and other commenters mention, have substantial non-infringing use.

    So does Napster.

    Napster had basically one purpose. That was to distribute MP3 files around the internet,

    Actually, the one purpose Napster had was to index things that other people were making available.

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Monday February 04, 2013 @11:42PM (#42793321) Homepage

    I am taking NOTHING from you if I download, from a pirate site or other sharing mechanism, some media you are publishing, IF you have made it so I cannot download it legitimately. Likewise if you have made it so that I cannot use it when downloaded legitimately, I am taking NOTHING from you if I crack it.

    I have NOT deprived you of any property by making a COPY. I have NOT deprived you of any revenue if you already made it so I cannot pay you for a working copy.

    There are markets. If you do not want to sell a working copy to some particular segments of the market, then you are clearly not expecting any revenue from that segment of the market. If I am in that segment, then do not whine about what I do. If you want my revenue, make sure I can get it legally and that it works for me on MY computer. If you find it cost prohibitive to support some tiny segment of the market, then that is your decision to exclude them and let them figure it out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @11:51PM (#42793363)

    I paid good money for what I consider one of the best ereaders on the google store. Now i have no access to it through Play if I ever need to reinstall it on any of my devices. I couldn't give a rip if some people were using it to pirate cause i wasn't. My license for the app is through Play so I have to pay again to get if from another source. So everybody that used the reader is now screwed. I most certainly won't be using Google's reader cause it sucks.... way behind moon reader in features and customization. But I guess that's okay since it supports DRM. Crap move Google... go after the sharers and not the users.

  • by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:41AM (#42795481) Homepage Journal

    One thing you are ignoring is that the kindle software will load ebooks that are not drm protected, you are not forced to buy ebooks from Amazon to read using the kindle software as long as you can get the ebook of interest on the device you can read it.

    Realistically if I wanted to pirate ebooks all i need is a browser a search engine and a copy of the kindle software.

    The issue with this software is it allows users to share links some of which can lead to commercial ebooks on pirate sites and some links are to non commercial ebooks. People create content all the time with the intent that it be freely shared. I like to write music, some people like to write story's, poetry, manuals and other stuff.

    I honestly don't see a problem with this app if anything it seems like an improvement to the many other ereader programs out there. You seem to be arguing for approved sources and texts , do you really think that is a positive move?

    The most positive thing we can do as people is the sharing of our culture and ideas.

Remember to say hello to your bank teller.