We’ve taken measures to make it more difficult for Ebooks Tree to offer downloads of AO3 works. Users should not notice any changes.
We’ve been getting pings and @’s all morning about ebooks-tree.com who seem to be scraping/taking stories off of AO3 and hosting them as PDFs and mobi downloads on their site; the site seems to be pulling from UrBookLibrary as well. They’re not reading your “do not copy/duplicate” notes on your AO3 fic; their bots are pulling things directly from AO3, without AO3′s authorization or assent. It looks like they are pulling from Wattpad too, again without authorization or assent.
While the Ebooks-Tree DMCA page seems to imply that you need a lawyer or other “authorized person” to submit a takedown notice, you don’t; you can do it yourself.
As we’ve posted before, fanfic writers hold copyright in their stories, although not in lines/quotes from the works they’ve been inspired by, and because of that, fanfic writers can submit DMCA takedown notices, or have someone do it on their behalf. While this post isn’t legal advice (none of our posts on FYC are), you might want to consider using this template (well, the bolded bits) in telling ebooks-tree to take down your content:Your Name and/or Pseudonym as an e-signature (or the name of the person you’ve authorized to submit this request, with a slash before it and after it):
Link(s) to the unauthorized works (link to the pdf, the mobi and the page hosting all of it):
Link(s) to an authorized version of your work (whether on AO3, tumblr, LJ or somewhere else):
An email address of the submitter (include it again even if it’s in the header):
This statement: I have good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
This statement: The information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
That’s it – that’s all they need to know – you can submit all the info via http://www.ebooks-tree.com/info.php?contacts with DMCA Complaint in the subject; you may wish to submit the same content to Google via this page, or to BING via this page.
ETA: If you try to read your own fics, they require you to sign up via a site called http://www.lazygame.net/ (lazygamenet on Twitter, corporate name is KH Media LLC of Delaware, their phone number is listed as the contact number for a bunch of different companies) and give your credit card info; we think that’s probably a very bad idea. You can send the same DMCA info to them at email@example.com but it’s unclear whether they have the ability to remove anything from the ebooks-tree site. We called LazyGame directly and they said they are not affiliated with ebooks-tree but they are affiliated with TzarMedia, which seems to be some sort of back-end for ebooks-tree. Fwiw, TzarMedia isn’t doing well on the whole “trustworthy site” thing.
TzarMedia claims that “All TzarMedia content is licensed and legal for distribution and use.” We wonder what the FTC would say about that kind of false advertising.
ETA 2: This is way bigger than someone using a bot to pull fics; this is infringement in so many different ways. They also have a number of published novels in various languages, including the Harry Potter series, and a lot of books from naominovik, Lev Grossman, John Scalzi, dduane, Jim Butcher, rainbowrowell and neil-gaiman, as well as tons of Fodors and Star Wars books and both All My Friends Are Dead and All My Friends Are Still Dead. Those of you in the publishing industry should also do DMCAs for the stuff you see up there.
Don’t give them your credit card information. Even if you want to see if the story they claim is your fic is really your fic, they’ve had enough complaints about credit card misuse that you shouldn’t trust them with your digits.
This isn’t just an AO3 scrape; these guys are maliciously insidious and have a lot of stuff on their site that they couldn’t just get by pulling random stories from the transformativeworks website.
And even though ebooks-tree claims that they comply with the Copyright Act, they aren’t compliant with the DMCA Safe Harbor rules, as they aren’t listed on the copyright.gov list of agents. We’ve found at least 100 sites that all mirror each other’s back-end with the same credit card subscription info; we wouldn’t trust it.
You can submit a complaint about ebooks-tree to CloudFlare, who either hosts the site or hosts a mirror of their content; their business model is confusing. Their DMCA page is at https://www.cloudflare.com/abuse/form – as a matter of law you do not need to include the legal name of the copyright claimant/the fanfic writer, but you should include the pseudonym that the fic was posted under if you don’t want to include a legal name or address.