By Dennis Abrams
The Digital Reader reports that due to concerns over “rampant commercial piracy,” Google has closed the Google Play Books Partner Center to new users.
At the Good Reader, Michael Kozlowski wrote that:
“The Google Play Publisher Program allows independent authors and publishing companies to include their novels and app guides on the Google Play bookstore. Sadly, this program has been taken over by fake publishers and people uploading pirated apps.
“There has been many documented cases of independent authors posting e-books by well known bestselling authors at a fraction of the price. This is taking money away from the real author and publishing company. In other cases people are uploading pirated apps that are posing as digital books. When you buy the book, you are given a link where you can download it. Some of the links are malicious, some are just regular scams, but none of them have the involvement of the actual authors or apps’ original developers, some of the APKs are even cracked or modded to give you unlimited in-app currency.”
Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader added that:
“Google would probably still be ignoring this issue if not for the fact that the Dutch publishers trade group NUV, or Nederlands Uitgeversverbond, took an interest after Google said that there was nothing they could do about an obvious commercial ebook pirate.
As I reported in my last post, the NUV is far more powerful than a lone blogger or individual publishers. It has the resources both to file an expensive lawsuit and to launch a PR campaign to embarrass Google, but more importantly the NUV also has the connections and the gravitas to grab Google’s attention and make Google fix the problem.”
A rep for Google posted the following in its support forums:
“We’ve temporarily closed new publisher sign ups in the Play Books Partner Center, so we can improve our content management capabilities and our user experience. We’re working to reopen this to new publishers soon. Thanks for your patience.”