Interesting article in Wired about a lawsuit against Scribd, the document hosting service. The nub:
The novel lawsuit, filed by a children’s author in Texas last Friday, maintains that Scribd unlawfully copies the text of books and other publications to compare new uploads against the copyrighted work and to block those files from its server.
Without getting too much into the details, Scribd’s defence is that they are using the source materials in question to ensure that its services are not used to infringe copyright in those source materials.
Details aside, Camara speculated that Scribd is likely to license its filtering technology that includes an undisclosed number of digital fingerprinted works. That such filters are good for copyright owners is beside the point, he said.
“In a couple of years of developing this, Scribd might turn around and license it,” he said. “The profits generated from that should be shared.”
Illustrates, somewhat ironically, the dangers fraught with attempting to police infringement, rather than taking a more passive approach. Not that that is without risk either.