Followup on Attributor

Nov 08 2010 Published by under Tactics

So the same faculty member who forwarded me the email about a journal publisher's use of the Attributor DMCA-takedown service sent them an email asking them what the deal was. To be clear, the faculty member put the unredacted email on her own weblog; the paragraph below related to that isn't about Book of Trogool.

Again redacted, here is the publisher's response:

Many thanks for your email to my colleague {name redacted}. I am writing to explain further {Publisher}'s work with Attributor.As I am sure you are aware,publishers are finding increased online piracy. Trying to tackle this on an individual basis is very time consuming. Attributor's service helps to eliminate this aspect. When {Publisher} first signed up to Attributor.com, their searches were limited to the top 25 cyberlocker sites such as Rapidshare, Megaupload etc. As {Publisher}'s policy does not allow for its branded content to be hosted on these sites, working with Attributor has this made the "take-down" process much more efficient.

Attributor, are now expanding their services to include an Internet wide search functionality. This raised concerns that take down notices may be sent out to {Publisher} authors who have followed {Publisher}'s policies (and being a RoMEO Green Publisher) of allowing authors to upload their article either pre or post print (i.e. it can have all of the Editorial changes, but must not have the {Publisher} branding or logos etc). By requesting authors to provide {Publisher} with the locations of their own versions, we can ensure that when Attributor's search engines pick up the articles (Attributor's service works on a word association basis currently), a take down notice is not sent.

The Attributor service is currently being used by a number of publishers including Wiley, Macmillan and Pearson to name a few.

One of the other reasons we decided to use the Attributor service is because it could help us detect if an {Publisher} article/chapter has been copied but does not have the full attribution it should have. If this does happen then {Publisher} is in a position to be able to make contact and ensure that the full corrections are made. While {Publisher} does request that copyright is signed over, we still want to protect and support our authors as much as possible, both in terms of disseminating it (lawfully) to as wide an audience as possible and to ensure that authors' works are used correctly.

Subscribers to {Publisher}'s journals include more than 3,000 university libraries worldwide. We have a liberal author charter ({URL redacted}), as well as being RoMeo Green. We have various awards and grants that we offer to authors to help them fund their research and support and further their careers. In addition we encourage global scholarship through partnerships and research awards with CLADEA (Latin America), IAABD (Africa), CEEMAN (Central and Eastern Europe), BMDA (Baltic region), AACSB (Americas) and the Global Foundation for Management Education (GFME).

I was disappointed to learn that you had placed a copy of the original email and made comment on this before receiving a reply from {Publisher} clarifying the matter. On this point I would request that you remove {name}'s contact details from your post so that she is not unduly targeted.

I hope that this has explained our position and intentions behind working with Attributor, if I can be of any further assistance in clarifying further, please do let me know.

Kind regards,
{name redacted}
Rights Manager
{publisher}

So there you have it. Feel any better? ’Cos I don't. Reads just like the RIAA to me.

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