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Hachette UK moves against download site

Hachette UK has moved to have its e-books removed from content site Mobiles24. The publisher has issued what it described as a "letter before action" to the owner of the website.

Mobiles24 allows registered users to upload content for other users to download. It says it "was setup for the one reason only; to give everybody the ability to make the most out of their mobile phone, without ever having to pull their wallet out!" The site carries close to 9,000 e-books in ePub format, including Hachette titles such as A Discovery of Witches. The owner Mark Worthington has until 29th February to comply with Hachette's request for him to remove all e-books published by Hachette companies from the website and give undertakings to the court not to make any of its e-books available in the future. Worthington could not be contacted by The Bookseller.

In a FAQ posted on its site, Mobile24 says that "provided proper notification", Mobiles24 will remove submissions that infringe upon the intellectual property rights of another. But it adds that "Mobiles24 assumes no responsibility for monitoring the service".

Hachette UK c.e.o. Tim Hely Hutchinson said: "We have said repeatedly that we will take action against anyone who infringes our copyright and the rights of our authors. The explosion in legitimate sales of e-books has encouraged some people to appropriate files and we view this as theft. We take any infringement extremely seriously and we will do everything we can to protect the rights of our authors including, where possible, pursuing copyright infringers through the courts."

Hachette's move comes 10 days after an international alliance of publishers served successful cease-and-desist orders on a piracy operation consisting of sharehoster service www.ifile.it and link library www.library.nu.