Simon & Schuster Brings Attributor Anti-Piracy Data to Authors

Simon & Schuster will be giving its authors more information about how their content is being pirated around the world and what the publisher is doing about it, according to a recent letter from president and CEO Carolyn Reidy to authors.

In response to queries from authors asking how piracy is affecting their books, Simon & Schuster will add book-specific piracy-tracking data from anti-digital-piracy firm Attributor to its Simon & Schuster Author Portal.

“The reports that you will see provide information about the number of infringements identified and takedown notices sent to infringing sites, success rates in removing infringements, the types of sites where infringement is occurring, the specific urls and geographic distribution of sites where unauthorized copies are offered and more,” said Reidy in the letter.

Simon & Schuster has been using Attributor since 2011 to fight ebook piracy. The vendor scans hundreds of millions of Web pages every day, including peer-to-peer networks, for content that infringes on copyrights. Takedown notices are sent to infringing sites in the hope of successfully removing pirated content.

Related: Does Piracy Hurt Digital Content Sales? Yes 

This recent move is likely part of an effort by the large publisher to deepen and enrich its relationship with authors. In the past several years, as authors have more options than ever on how to publish their works, both publishers and self-publishing platforms have been struggling to convey the benefits of working with them.

In 2012, Random House released a series of videos explaining its business and the publishing process. The company also held an open-house for the public and influential folks in the publishing world at its headquarters in late 2012. In late 2011, Hachette leaked to Digital Book World a manifesto of sorts that it had been sharing with agents and authors explaining the value that publishers add to the publishing process. With the rise of self-publishing and e-books, publishers are closer to consumers than ever — and some question what publishers do in a world where anyone can publish a book.

On the self-publishing side, in the past year, platforms have been battling for the favor of authors, offering lower prices, better services and other goodies to lure them.

FastPencil offers some of its authors the opportunity to be printed and distributed via Barnes & Noble. Author Solutions offers authors 100% royalties on books published and distributed through the site, making its primary service free for many of its customers – this promotion was to end on July 4, 2012 but was extended indefinitely due to its success. The company also offers BookStub, a service where authors can sell their e-books in person using a credit-card sized voucher with a picture of the book cover on one side and a product code on the other. Lulu recently launched an “author advice” tool.


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