Whatever happened to Fact Checking?

March 30, 2009 • in the news • Views: 23

Yesterday, The Times of London published an article claiming that various authors, including J.K. Rowling, were “fighting” Scribd over copyrighted material on our site. Unfortunately, the Times’ article was misleading and included factual errors that must be corrected.

1. To make it absolutely clear, J.K. Rowling and the other authors mentioned are not suing Scribd and have never filed a lawsuit against us.

2. Scribd takes the concerns of copyright holders very seriously. It’s why we created our industry-leading copyright management system, which goes above and beyond requirements set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Every time Scribd receives an official take down request from an author, publisher, or copyright holder, we remove the copyrighted document and add the reference file to our copyright database. If someone tries to upload a document that our system identifies as one of the tens of thousands of works in our copyright database, the document is automatically removed from Scribd. While the technology is not yet perfect, we are constantly working to improve it.  And as our reference database grows over time, our system will become even smarter and faster. 

3. Scribd is a document sharing site where people come to publish their grandmother’s 80-year-old pierogi recipe, to find Barack Obama’s latest economic plan, to read The New York Times’ official Madoff filing, to receive feedback on their new screenplay, and to reach a community of over 55 million readers.

Books are a small reason readers visit Scribd but growing thanks to our recent partnerships with leading publishing houses, including Simon & Schuster and Random House. (See: Scribd Publisher press release) These publishers and many authors are voluntarily giving us exclusive excerpts and full books because they see Scribd as a valuable way to get their works in front of tens of millions of readers. For a thoughtful and informed analysis of Scribd, here’s an Ars Technica post that presents a totally opposite take as The Times piece.

Also – our CEO is named Trip Adler, not Trip Adkins.

The Scribd Team

(Updated Noon PST, March 31, 2009)