United States District Court Grants Authors’ Guild Members, Amazon Publishing, and Penguin Random House Victory in Kiss Library Piracy Lawsuit | Business

SEATTLE – (BUSINESS WIRE) – December 30, 2021–

The U.S. Court for the Western District of Washington awarded $ 7.8 million in statutory damages to 12 members of the Authors’ Guild, Amazon Publishing and Penguin Random House for 52 acts of copyright infringement in a Default judgment against Kiss Library, permanently shutting down the Ukraine-based hacker network. In a decisive opinion on December 20, 2021, Judge Marsha Pechman, Senior Judge for the Western District, ruled on all of the plaintiffs’ claims and awarded $ 150,000 per counterfeit book, the maximum penalty allowed under US law. The plaintiffs filed a complaint against the book piracy entity and its operators on July 7, 2020.

“We couldn’t be happier with the decision,” said Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild. “Authors rarely have the resources to combat piracy on a commercial scale and initiate protracted litigation, so we are extremely grateful to Amazon Publishing and Penguin Random House for their collaboration in this action. E-book and audiobook piracy impacts the ability of authors to make a living and the ability of publishers to invest in new books that present such a crucial diversity of ideas, people and viewpoints. for democracy, which is why all are working together to fight against intellectual property theft. . We are delighted that the court quickly understood the facts and granted us each of our claims, imposing the maximum financial penalty, shutting down all domains related to Kiss and sending a sharp message to websites of pirated content.

“Whether authors make $ 500 million or $ 5 million a year from the sale of their books, book piracy robs them of their right to be paid for their creative work. This is why we have found it necessary to file a complaint against Kiss to send a message to the hacking sites on behalf of the 12,000 members of the Guild: when you steal one of us, you steal all of us, ”said Doug Preston, one of the plaintiffs, a successful thriller novelist who is also president of the Writers Guild. “We will not stand idly by and let criminals profit from the illegal sale of our books in which we invest so much of our time, talent and emotional capital – robbing writers of their works not just robbing writers of their works. money to authors and their families; it takes away part of the author’s inner self.

Owned and operated by defendants Rodion Vynnychenko and Artem Besshapochny, Kiss Library did business through Kissly.net, Lily.net, Bibliothèque-pas cher.com, and dozens of other domain names that illegally sold pirated eBooks at discounted prices to unsuspecting readers. These defendants sought to avoid detection and responsibility by repeatedly concealing their identity; register system domains with false information; and underpin a network of constantly evolving fields. Even after the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit, the defendants continued their evasion tactics by attempting to destroy evidence relating to their hacking scheme and dodge service in Ukraine. Once highlighted by the investigation and the plaintiffs ‘records, the court concluded that the defendants’ “deceit and evasion model” as well as “the seriousness of the misconduct” warranted the imposition of maximum legal penalties. and a broad permanent injunction. (Order at 6, 13.) The Court also supported its order by recognizing “the compelling public interest in protecting the marketable rights of copyright holders in their work and the economic incentive to continue to create works. literary ”. (Order at 9 (internal quotes omitted).)

“The judge’s order sends a clear message that piracy will not be tolerated and bad actors will be held accountable,” said Mikyla Bruder, director of Amazon Publishing. “We are grateful to the Authors Guild and Penguin Random House for their collaboration in bringing the Kiss Library to justice and protecting the rights of authors. “

“The award of the maximum amount of statutory damages shows that the Court has recognized the serious impact of piracy on the entire publishing ecosystem. We hope this verdict serves as a wake-up call to all websites and search engines that regularly fail to enforce DMCA takedown notices. We will continue to work with our Authors, Authors’ Guild and other publishers to get the message across that e-book piracy should not and will not be tolerated anywhere or under any circumstances, ”said Anke Steinecke, Legal Director of Penguin Random House.

The Authors’ Guild is the oldest and largest professional organization of writers in the country. Its mission is to empower writers who work defending the rights of authors and journalists. The Guild protects the freedom of expression and copyrights of authors, fights for fair contracts and living wages, and provides an engaged and welcoming community for all published authors. For more information visit www.authorsguild.org.

Amazon Publishing is a leading commercial publisher of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books with a mission to empower exceptional storytellers and connect them with readers around the world. They publish emerging, bestselling and critically-acclaimed authors in digital, print and audio formats. For more information visit apub.com.

About Penguin Random House LLC

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest publisher of commercial books, is dedicated to its mission of nurturing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writings with readers around the world. With over 15,000 new titles and over 600 million print, audio, and electronic books sold each year, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 80 Nobel Laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors. world.

CONTACT: Sandi Sonnenfeld, communications advisor

Sandy Long, Chief Operating Officer



SOURCE: The Authors’ Guild

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 12/30/2021 08: 00 / DISC: 12/30/2021 08:02

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

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