John Wiley, one of America’s leading publishers, has filed lawsuits against a group of people it alleges have been pirating the company’s popular …For Dummies series of books. According to the company, many people have been identified in the pirating crackdown and have agreed to pay compensation, but a small number have refused to such an agreement and are now being taken to court.
The company says that 74,000 copies of its Photoshop CS5 All-in-One For Dummies were pirated as ebooks. At the time of writing, that book is going for around $17 on Amazon, so the company could have lost out on more than $1m, although such a calculation is extremely unreliable and assumes, for example, that those who pirated the book would otherwise have become paying customers.
Wiley have been asking alleged infringers to pay the minimum restitution under the Copyright Act, which is $750. But those who end up in court could face a much higher payment order of up to $150,000. Other publishers are likely to be watching the Wiley case very carefully in order to see whether they too could take this kind of action against alleged copyright infringers.