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informatique

Textbook publishers sue Shopify over alleged massive IP violations – Reuters

The logo of Shopify is seen outside its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

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  • Shopify accused of turning blind eye to pirated ebooks
  • Major publishers ask for millions in damages
  • Shopify says it clearly prohibits, punishes infringers

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(Reuters) – Major educational publishers on Wednesday accused e-commerce company Shopify of enabling rampant piracy in a lawsuit filed in Virginia federal court.

Macmillan Learning, Cengage Learning Inc, Elsevier Inc, McGraw Hill LLC and Pearson Education Inc said Canada-based Shopify turned a blind eye to repeat notices that its users sell pirated digital textbooks and other materials, allowing for copyright and trademark infringement « on a massive scale. »

The publishers asked the court for statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed copyright and $2 million for each counterfeited trademark, and listed more than 3,400 copyrights that users allegedly violated.

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Shopify provides a range of services for online storefronts including web hosting, product management, marketing services and payment processing.

A Shopify spokesperson said in a statement that the company’s policies clearly prohibit merchants from infringing IP rights, and that it doesn’t hesitate to punish infringers. The spokesperson said the platform has reviewed over 90% of copyright and trademark reports from this year within one business day.

The complaint said Shopify gives « lip service » to IP protection while profiting from infringement.

The publishers’ are represented by Matthew Oppenheim of Oppenheim & Zebrak. The firm has also represented music labels and publishers in a $1 billion copyright case against internet service provider Cox Communications Inc and represents major book publishers in a copyright dispute with the Internet Archive.

The case is Macmillan Learning v. Shopify Inc, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, No. 1:21-cv-01340.

For the publishers: Matthew Oppenheim and Scott Zebrak of Oppenheim & Zebrak.

For Shopify: not available

Read more:

Cox to pay $1 bln to music labels, publishers over piracy infringement

Book publishers sue over ’emergency’ online library set up during pandemic

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com