A number of websites that were sharing pirated e-books have been ordered to be blocked by the UK courts at the request of the UK Publishers Association (UKPA).
The UKPA has announced a successful result at the High Court with orders against seven sites, saying that service providers BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE must block access to them within 10 days.
High Court Orders UK ISPs to Block eBook Sites - Ebookee, LibGen, Freshwap, AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre and Freebookspot— pàndǎ (@pan4da3) May 28, 2015
The affected sites are AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre, Ebookee, Freebookspot, Freshwrap and LibGen. At least one, Freebookspot, claims to have removed the offending content.
The UKPA has also asked Google to assist by removing 1.75 million URLs linking to the sites. The organisation and its members have issued one million takedown requests to the seven sites.
The illegal sites are said to offer 80 to 90 percent pirated material, and represent a threat to the industry and the economy, according to the UKPA.
"A third of publisher revenues now come from digital sales but unfortunately this rise in the digital market has brought with it a growth in online infringement," said UKPA chief executive Richard Mollet in a blog post.
"Our members need to be able to protect their authors' works from such illegal activity; writers need to be paid and publishers need to be able to continue to innovate and invest in new talent and material.
"We are very pleased that the High Court has granted this order and, in doing so, recognises the damage being inflicted on UK publishers and authors by these infringing websites."
The ruling is the first of its kind in the UK against sites sharing e-book material, and the UKPA said that the sites have made "substantial sums of money, primarily through referral fees and advertising" while offering a collection of some 10 million e-book titles.
A number of film and music sharing sites, including the Pirate Bay, have been blocked in the past, but with little effect on overall rates of piracy.
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