Anti-piracy strategies for Springer eBooks

Important information for Springer book authors

In order to protect our authors' rights and interests, Springer proactively screens websites for illegal download links of Springer eBooks and subsequently requires hosts of such download sites to remove and delete the files or links in question.

This necessary action has become increasingly important with the growing number of eBooks within the Springer eBook collection. While we have not yet seen harmful effects of eBook piracy and file sharing on our eBook portfolio, these are nevertheless considered serious topics.

A concerted effort between the Springer eOperations and legal teams together with an external IT partner has put efficient methods in place to detect illegal download links of Springer eBooks. Automated searching by special algorithms as well as acting on tip-offs and information from Springer authors and editors are common measures to detect and remove illegal download files. We have been pleased to observe immediate positive results in the number of links that have been disabled.

As described below, a lot of these links turn out to be spam and only a small amount are “real” downloads.

The successful implementation of our anti-piracy strategies not only incorporates the latest technology, but also a workflow to immediately follow up on potential piracy cases reported by authors or editors.

The following should be reported to us immediately:

Do not hesitate to contact us!

  • If you can download content without any barriers such as installations or payments, it is likely that you have discovered a case of piracy. Get in touch with us immediately at ethics.reporting@springer.com
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks (torrents) need to be differentiated: they are not run by one host but by a network of private computers. Though they rarely present a threat to eBook content, you should be extremely cautious!
  • Downloading content automatically means uploading content from your PC! This can cause legal trouble! We strongly recommend avoiding it! Don’t install sharing clients such as “utorrent” or others.
  • eBook links from P2P networks cannot be deactivated. But when detected, the individual file-sharer will be sued.

Indications for less critical sites and links

Potentially spam

  • As a rule of thumb links with names like "fast download", "direct download" or similar frequently turn out to be spam and are not critical in terms of piracy.
  • In many cases blogs or websites only claim to offer downloadable eBooks (without being able to offer any content) in order to generate traffic. They are considered spammers, too.
  • Sites that try to install a "downloader" should alert you. They probably do not offer any eBook content but will install potentially dangerous programs on your PC.

Springer will put every effort into continuing to target illegal download files and supports new developments and initiatives to prevent eBook piracy. If you are a Springer author and have encountered illegal versions of your eBook, please get in touch and help us protect your rights. You can reach us at ethics.reporting@springer.com