Man fined $7,000 for sharing 'WordPress for Dummies' via BitTorrent

By on July 3, 2012, 1:30 PM

Robert Carpenter of Poughkeepsie, New York has been ordered to pay $7,000 in damages for sharing a copy of "WordPress All-in-One For Dummies" on BitTorrent. Carpenter was part of a mass filing by publisher John Wiley & Sons last October that included 27 John Does allegedly caught sharing "For Dummies" books via BiTorrent.

According to TorrentFreak, Wiley has since filed over a dozen mass suits with several hundred John Does accused of illegally sharing copies of works from the extensive For Dummies series.

"Defendants are contributing to a problem that threatens the profitability of Wiley. Although Wiley cannot determine at this time the precise amount of revenue that it has lost as a result of peer-to-peer file sharing of its copyrighted works though BitTorrent software, the amount of revenue that is lost is enormous," Wiley's attorney wrote during the initial filing last year.

It was noted that that one popular For Dummies book on Photoshop CS5 was pirated more than 74,000 times on the BitTorrent site Demonoid.me alone.

Although many people targeted by Wiley have settled out of court (for an undisclosed amount, but ~$3,000 is common), the publisher is applying additional pressure to those who won't pony up. Such is the case with Carpenter, who ignored Wiley's complaint, according to a court document obtained and uploaded by TorrentFreak.

Interestingly, the $7,000 penalty isn't just for copyright infringement, but $2,000 of it is specifically for counterfeiting Wiley's trademarks -- a first for a case of this nature, TorrentFreak believes.

**Pirate book image via ayzek/ShutterStock




User Comments: 27

Got something to say? Post a comment
ikesmasher said:

really? thousands of people sharing things like the avengers, skyrim, call of duty, and other popular media, and this guy gets taken down.

Thats sad. I mean it IS piracy, just not nearly as big a deal as anything else.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

really? thousands of people sharing things like the avengers, skyrim, call of duty, and other popular media, and this guy gets taken down.

Thats sad. I mean it IS piracy, just not nearly as big a deal as anything else.

You mean it isn't as big of a deal because the media doesn't report about it as much. I'm sure it is a big deal to the publisher and the author, who spent weeks/months working on it.

I fail to see how one form of media is a bigger deal than the other.

Seventh Reign Seventh Reign said:

" the amount of revenue that is lost is enormous,"

I would like to personally nominate that as 'The most over rated sentence of 2012.'

The amount of revenue lost is barely a fraction of a percent of what they still made. I understand every penny counts, but sometimes, you've made enough money.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I understand every penny counts, but sometimes, you've made enough money.

That is complete and utter BS.

Tygerstrike said:

@Seventh

If it was your intelectual property that other ppl were stealing you would be on the warpath as well. Its all well and good that you can sit there and make a comment like "Youve made enough money". However you need to expand your view a bit and understand that they have a right to be upset that others are profiting from their property.

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

Less about the Piracy and more about the media type, like most others, not keeping up with the modern world.. in an ironic sort of way..

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Digital piracy is a battle that will only be won by changing public opinion, not via laws. So the perception of both the "criminal" and the "victim" have to be considered.

If you just take the hard line approach that its a crime, and no exceptions can be made, then basically the media companies will lose and things will continue. When ebooks cost as much or more than physical books, despite costing nothing to make (with all the editing being done for print anyway), and nothing to ship, the media company is not seen as a victim. While I would not call it Robin Hood cause you're talking about ebooks and not starving peasants, but nonetheless, public opinion does not feel sorry for the media companies.

Carmaine said:

I love how people bash on others about how piracy is bad, yet they also do the same thing.

Let's face it. All of us is guilty of at least one crime of pirating some sort of digital product.

Coodu Coodu said:

Oh man, that blew my mind, nice one haha

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think it's a fine fine. It's not like the millions that the likes of the RIAA want. It's a sum that is large enough to serve as a deterrent but one that people can actually pay.

Guest said:

I want to be a pirate

A pirates life for me

All my friends are pirates

And sail the b. b. sea

Ive got a jolly roger

Its black and white and vast

Get out of your skull and crossbones

And I'll run it up your mast

Guest said:

We pirate, know we are stealing, and try to morally justify it by saying things like "Oh they have made enough money" and "It's not really stealing because we are only downloading it because it is free; no lost revenue because we wouldn't have paid for it". The fact is that it is theft, but unfortunately we aren't responsible enough to police ourselves. Good on the publisher, too bad most people are smart enough to evade detection.

Guest said:

one lesson we can get from here:

"don't get caught when pirating"

Tygerstrike said:

@Carm

I beg to differ good sir. I have not and never will illegally download ANY media. I pay for all my songs on Itunes. I dont use a computer unless Im at work. I have even broken disks my freinds have given me of burned movies. Its not that hard to NOT steal. You just have to have a moral compass. Maybe in the household you grew up in , theft may have been the norm. My parents taught me right from wrong. In my household if one of us children were to steal something, the sheer embarasment involved in the whole situation would be enough to send us screaming from the room. Nothing like all the relatives giving you the business because you were stupid enough to steal. Then again maybe that is the problem in general. Ppl have even less respect for themselves now then they did in previous years.

Carmaine said:

@Carm

I beg to differ good sir. I have not and never will illegally download ANY media. I pay for all my songs on Itunes. I dont use a computer unless Im at work. I have even broken disks my freinds have given me of burned movies. Its not that hard to NOT steal. You just have to have a moral compass. Maybe in the household you grew up in , theft may have been the norm. My parents taught me right from wrong. In my household if one of us children were to steal something, the sheer embarasment involved in the whole situation would be enough to send us screaming from the room. Nothing like all the relatives giving you the business because you were stupid enough to steal. Then again maybe that is the problem in general. Ppl have even less respect for themselves now then they did in previous years.

LOL. U mad bro?

Check this out though Tygerstrike. I can do this too.

I also have never illegally downloaded ANY media. I pay for all my sons on itunes, and pay for all my games on steam. My house was also built on having good morals just like you so I always behaved in front of mommy and daddy even to this day. And if anyone is even caught stealing rain from the sky, we would get dragged to sector 7G and spanked all night. This made me a firm believer in the consequence taken over doing something as petty as stealing water. Now I make over 200 thousand a year as a logistics analyst so there's no need for me to steal anything since I have the financial privilege of being able to buy them.

Here's my point. With all that said, and with you probably being a state, country or continent away from me; would you believe anything I just said?

Tygerstrike said:

Not mad just pointing out that your earlier generalized post doesnt represent "everyone". There are still some of us out there who have respect enough for others that we just wont steal. And yes I would believe that all you posted could be correct.

Guest said:

I'm an author and my books are always being stolen like this, so I cheered aloud when I read that they'd caught one of the thieves. May they catch a great many more!

Why do people who don't steal other things think music and books are fair game? Don't they realise some people make their living by producing them.

Anna Jacobs, still smiling at the news

Guest said:

PS to my last post. They're not pirates. That sounds far too glamorous. They're thieves.

Guest said:

wow!

Nobody saw the irony?

Wordpress is actually opensource running on opensource Linux and yet a man was fined to death because he freely circulated a book about it??

Anyway, the action of theft presupposes that someone is deprived of something.

I steal a car means that somebody loses his/her car.

How the publishers of this book were stolen then?

Actually it was free advertisement!

Guest said:

Tygerstrike said:

@Carm

I beg to differ good sir. I have not and never will illegally download ANY media. I pay for all my songs on Itunes. I dont use a computer unless Im at work. I have even broken disks my freinds have given me of burned movies. Its not that hard to NOT steal. You just have to have a moral compass. Maybe in the household you grew up in , theft may have been the norm. My parents taught me right from wrong. In my household if one of us children were to steal something, the sheer embarasment involved in the whole situation would be enough to send us screaming from the room. Nothing like all the relatives giving you the business because you were stupid enough to steal. Then again maybe that is the problem in general. Ppl have even less respect for themselves now then they did in previous years.

Hi Tygerstrike,

You say you dont steal right? But you say you only use computer at work!, so in my book you are stealing resources from your job by taking time to read the web and replying to this article. Unless the company you work for gave you full permission to surf the web for personal stuff and they are ok with you wasting your time surfing the web and reading articles during work time then you are ok, but I doubt it.

TJGeezer said:

Right. Because too much is never enough, right? Don't be fooled by such blather as "let the punishment fit the crime," especially if a ridiculously high judgment can make even more money for lawyers, I mean for the noble publishers of works targeted for self-proclaimed dummies.

TJGeezer said:

Sorry, I meant to quote as a reply to:

"Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

'I understand every penny counts, but sometimes, you've made enough money.'

That is complete and utter BS."

TJGeezer said:

I'm an author and my books are always being stolen like this, so I cheered aloud when I read that they'd caught one of the thieves. May they catch a great many more!

Why do people who don't steal other things think music and books are fair game? Don't they realise some people make their living by producing them.

Anna Jacobs, still smiling at the news

Anna, if your books are out in the torrents, have you ever wondered how many people tried one from the torrents and then, discovering they like your work, went out and bought more from your publisher?

That's called exposure, and for an unknown writer/artist, it's pure gold. Nathan Lowell, a writer who now no longer needs a day job, started by putting his work out as free audiobooks on podiobook.com. He says that, without the exposure the Internet offered, his odd but engaging space opera series about solar clipper ships would have remained unknown and he'd still be drudging 9 to 5.

You might want to rethink your schadenfreude over this disproportionately high fine.

Guest said:

It's all very well saying that people obtaining copies of books by "pirating" them is free exposure, and then they'll go on to buy others by same author...but they won't if they think it's ok to keep on getting them for free.

Tygerstrike said:

@Guest

Actually yes my job does require that I keep up on all tech and cellphone related information, and does give me unlimited access to these sites. Good try tho.

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