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Authors Guild Statement on Textbook Publisher Lawsuit Against Shopify


The Authors Guild supports the textbook publishers’ lawsuit against the e-commerce platform Shopify for enabling pirates to use and profit from its services. The textbook publishers claim that Shopify has persistently failed to take action against textbook piracy on its services, allowing repeat infringers and known pirate sellers to continue their business despite receiving notices from copyright owners identifying them and their infringing activity on a monthly basis  for years, causing publishers and authors serious economic harm.

“There is a serious lack of cooperation from internet services platforms across the board in taking meaningful action against pirates,” said Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild. “Many internet platforms actually profit from infringing activity—in the form of advertising revenue, or, like Shopify, through charging marketing fees and commissions, or both. It is against the interests of the platforms that profit from piracy to assist copyright owners and that will remain the case unless there are robust consequences. We hope that this lawsuit sends a strong message to internet services platforms that fail to cooperate with copyright owners and continue to allow users of their platforms to post and sell pirated content.”