In Austria and Germany, recent house searches against the e-book uploader wettex and echnaton took place. They are accused of illegally distributing countless copyrighted e-books. The black copies were available at Uploaded, RapidGator and until recently at Share-Online.biz.
E-book uploaders did not just go blank
The two suspects are said to have achieved with the affiliate programs of Filehoster revenue of several thousand euros per month. wettex, a 53-year-old Viennese, is accused of having unlawfully distributed more than 18,000 works. New publications of works of fiction have illegally circulated the suspects a few hours after publication.
The bettex investigation took its toll after CounterFights Anti-Piracy filed a lawsuit against him. The public prosecutor Mühlhausen determined in co-operation with the state criminal investigation office Erfurt.
wettex created almost 18,000 posts at myGully.com
Many months later, the LKA succeeded in identifying the man. At the warez forum myGully.com wettex has created over 17,900 entries. Many postings are links to illegal copies of commercial e-books. Following the termination of the proceedings in Germany, a private lawsuit was filed in Austria by publishers dp Digital Publishers GmbH and Written Dreams Verlag in cooperation with the Selfpublisher Association. Some authors of the Selfpublisher publishing house were also among the victims.
The uploader should have his works in a well-known online shop (probably from Amazon) related. However, the e-commerce provider ignored the authorities' request for help, which made it difficult to identify the offender. The investigators are now concentrating on clarifying whether the confiscated media provides enough evidence that the shop operator may be sued for alleged copyright infringement.
Operator of the online shop should be charged
"For many years, the customer of this online shop suffered economic damage from the accused. However, if then the customer protection is converted to the protection of perpetrators and the unlawful acts of the defendant despite knowledge were not suppressed, which should in my view also have legal consequences for the operator of this online store, "commented Andreas Kaspar the facts. He is the founder and owner of CounterFights Anti-Piracy. Kaspar was also involved in the investigation into Spiegelbest, which has not been caught until today.
echnaton - technically savvy and 72 years young
Another suspect called echnaton acted for example at ebook-land.cc and was there for their timely re-uploads known. The company's press release mentions a forum not mentioned by name for e-books and audiobooks with over 100,000 members. As a supermoderator, echnaton is said to be responsible for about two thirds of all uploads, that was about 10,000 titles, which were linked and uploaded to filehosters. The woman is described by the pirate hunters at the age of 72 years as technically savvy. She organized the availability of the e-books of the current SPIEGEL bestseller list and answered the search requests of the forum members for further e-books.
CounterFights Anti-Piracy started its own research in 2018. These gave indications of the identity of the accused pensioner. As a result, over 40 affected rights holders filed criminal charges against the woman. The procedure then worked on the public prosecutor Göttingen. In July 2019, the cybercrime commission of the Police Inspectorate Salzgitter, Peine and Wolfenbüttel conducted a house search in the family home of the accused. There one wants to have caught the pensioner allegedly "in flagranti" in the implementation of new rights violations.
RoadWarrior now legally convicted
Last year the uploader RoadWarrior was identified by the anti-piracy company. The accused, aged 58, was a big fan of science fiction novels. He had published download links to thousands of SF book novels in a large Warez forum. In addition, the man provided new releases of current volumes on the day of publication for the Forum members. The penalty order requested by the Hanau Public Prosecutor's Office is now legally valid. RoadWarrior was ordered to pay a four-digit fine, equivalent to 200 daily rates. Since you can do nothing against the underground forums so far, you try it just over the e-book uploader.