UK ISPs tackle e-book piracy with new court order

UK Internet service providers are beginning to ban over 1.7 million URLs focused on e-book piracy, in the first major move by The Publishers Association to tackle book piracy.

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

E-book piracy has grown in the past few years, as the DRM provided by Amazon, Apple and other book services becomes less impervious to skilled crackers. Once the DRM is cracked, the books can be freely distributed to millions of users.

Despite the radical price drops Amazon pushed through the Internet five years ago, resulting in Apple, Google and book publishers creating private pricing agreements, pirates don’t seem to be happy. Piracy rates continue to grow and it looks like no matter how cheap Amazon makes books, there will always be those that see books as free material.

Amazon is trying to strike a balance between library and book seller through a new program called Kindle Unlimited. Reports say it also has plans 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.

This could be a good option to keep customers interested in e-books and paying for them. It would also most likely cause more paid book readers, unlike this recent block of pirate e-book stores, which will no doubt be replaced with another crop of websites with better encryption and less domain lockdown.