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Infringe, violate, defame: Scribd does it all, according to FTC complaints

Digital library angering users and others for a host of reasons

by eorge !e"ines on #ct. 10$ 2013$ % a.m. &#' (e)uests:

*cribd.com &+, complants

+he &ederal +rade ,ommission has a wide-ranging catalog of complaints lodged against digital library *cribd$ from accusations of unauthori-ed charges and copyright infringement to claims that the website violated privacy$ abetted libel and distributed unclassified &.' documents. #ne particularly conspiratorial and /!! ,/0* allegation shouted of *cribd1s collusion with a supposed serial killer. / re)uest from 2uck(ock user (obert 3elaware unearthed 24 &+, complaints against *cribd$ the oldest of which date back to 2005. +he complaints fall primarily into two categories: there are individuals eager to flag unauthori-ed distribution of their copyrighted works via the *cribd platform$ as well as users aggravated about unauthori-ed charges allegedly levied by *cribd. #ne complainant from /ppleton$ 6isconsin claimed to have emailed *cribd si7 times after discovering three copyrighted works among the company1s online collections. #nly after the copyright holder traveled in person to *cribd8s offices in *an &rancisco were the books taken down.

.ut the complainant was apparently told by *cribd ,9# +rip /dler that it would take a :udge8s order to find out who removed the works in )uestion from the site.

,omplaints of unauthori-ed charges generally stemmed from users who believed they were signing up for a month subscription only to find their credit cards repeatedly charged for months or even the whole year. 'n another instance$ a user contended that she got repeated error messages after entering credit card information while attempting to purchase a book via *cribd. 6hile she believed that her card had never been charged since she never received the product$ she was dismayed to receive her statement and find her card had been run for a total of ;1<5.%=. 2any complaints outline vain attempts to reach *cribd by email or phone to resolve these issues. +hree individuals flagged privacy concerns over documents posted on *cribd$ including one individual1s *print bill and another1s entire credit card ledger.

#ne complaint from >awaii notified the &+, of an impending lawsuit should *cribd fail to remove certain allegedly defamatory documents concerning two attorneys. !astly$ one enraged complainant accused *cribd of federal conspiracy with a supposed ?*9('/! @'!!9(? to ?!'+9(/!!A$ ,('2'B/!!A$ 2/!','#C*!A$ /B3 "'B3',+'"9!A *>C+ 3#6B 2A 9*! 3#,C29B+*.?

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