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Scribd fires back, denies violating copyright

Social-publishing site accused in lawsuit of violating author's copyright says the company is comfortably docked in the DMCA's safe harbor.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read

Scribd, an online publishing tool where users share their manuscripts and essays, while others post pirated copies of books, denied that the company encourages copyright infringement.

A lawsuit filed by author Elaine Scott on Friday alleged that Scribd violated Scott's copyright and those belonging to many others. According to a copy of the suit obtained by CNET News, Scott claimed that Scribd "shamelessly profits" from stolen works and "built a technology that's broken barriers to copyright infringement on a global scale."

On Sunday evening, Scribd issued a comment to CNET in response to the suit.

"Ms. Scott's lawsuit is without merit," Scribd said in its statement. "Scribd is an online service provider that complies with--and goes above and beyond--the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Scribd therefore is entitled to the full protection of the DMCA's safe harbor provisions."

By now, anyone following online copyright issues at YouTube, Veoh, Project Playlist, and many other sites knows that the DMCA's safe harbor provision is designed to protect Internet service providers from holding the bag for users who commit illegal acts.

The provision protects sites that meet its requirements. Scott claims Scribd fails to meet the requirements and the company says nonsense.

"Scribd does not want unauthorized content on our site," the company said. "We built the industry's leading (filtering) technology to prevent the upload of unauthorized documents. This is one of the reasons why best-selling authors and many of the world's largest publishers have chosen to put their works on Scribd."