German Publishers File Criminal Complaint Against Two News Sites For Mentioning Name Of Unauthorized Ebook Site

We know that some legacy players who rely too heavily on copyright law seem to react negatively to any discussion of unauthorized distribution of files, but a group of German book publishers have apparently taken this to the next level. As highlighted on TorrentFreak, they’ve resorted to filing criminal complaints against two news websites, Der Tagesspiegel and, for publishing an interview with the creators of a website called, which offers up unauthorized downloads of ebooks. Again, this is not the unauthorized site itself they filed the complaint over, but rather news websites for daring to name the site in the interview that was done.

“With the direct and multiple naming of the Internet address the reader is immediately aware of the illicit supply of the website. With regard to objective journalistic reporting there was no need for direct nomination,” the publishers write in their complaint.

“The publication of the Website and its Internet address immediately enabled a broad mass of readers to become aware of the site. The reader is also indirectly encouraged to take advantage of the offer, taking advantage of the illegal site that has been highlighted by the play of the interview.”

Of course, this raises the obvious retort: if publishing an interview helps make a “broad mass” of people more “aware of the site,” what do they think filing a really stupid and ridiculous lawsuit against these websites will do?

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