Does Scribd allow copyright infringements?
No. Copyright infringement is illegal and not permitted on Scribd under any circumstances.
Does Scribd delete accounts with infringing content?
Yes. Scribd automatically deletes the account of repeat infringers on a three-strikes basis. Scribd does not act on requests or demands to remove suspected infringers.
Why does Scribd allow anyone to upload documents?
Scribd understands that some of the most compelling and innovative authors do not have a publishing deal with a major publisher, and that independent authors are in need of services that help empower their ability to distribute their content. While Scribd understands that an “open door” policy occasionally leads to abuse, including copyright infringement, such uses are in the minority. Scribd’s services are available to everyone.
Can Scribd determine copyright ownership?
No. Scribd is not able to determine which items on Scribd may or may not infringe copyright. A valid DMCA notification is the minimum that Scribd can accept as proof-of-copyright, even if you reside outside the United States.
Can I demand the removal of a Scribd member that infringes my content?
No. Scribd does not act on requests or demands to remove suspected infringers. Repeat infringers, however, are removed automatically on a three-strikes basis.
How do I request permission to use content that I find on Scribd?
Scribd’s members retain the rights to the content they upload to Scribd. Scribd does not serve as a right agent or broker for matters related to permissions and licensing. All queries regarding the licensing of specific documents should be directed to the person that uploaded the content to Scribd. Many members provide contact information on their profile page, but Scribd cannot provide additional contact information. Many authors and publishers feature copyright information and permission instructions on their websites.
What is copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection granted by law to authors of original creative works. Copyright applies to any creative expression including a book, photographs, artwork, writing, or recording. A copyright guarantees that the author or rights holder determines who gets to copy, re-use, or alter the original work. In the United States, an original work is under copyright protection from the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyrights can be held exclusively by the creator of the original work, or shared via license with another entity, such as a publisher or agency.
The period for which a work remains under copyright varies from country to country. After a period of time, copyrights revert to the public domain. Works in the public domain can be copied or reused without restrictions. Some alternatives to full copyright have emerged in an attempt to add greater flexibility to copyright licensing. The most flexible and widely-used alternative is Creative Commons. Scribd provides uploaders the option of using Creative Commons licenses. Other alternatives to copyright, such as copyleft and the GNU Public License, are also in use across the Internet but are not supported on Scribd.
Scribd is based in the United States and complies with all domestic and international copyright laws.
What is copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement is the copying or re-use of a copyrighted work without permission of the rights holder. Copyright infringement can include copying all or part of a protected work for any purpose, or repurposing protected material in a derivative work. Copyright infringement, whether intentional or accidental, is illegal in most countries. You can be held monetarily liable for copyright infringement any time you upload copyrighted content without the rights holder’s permission, even when:
- the content is infringed elsewhere;
- you previously purchased a copy of the copyrighted work, or intend to purchase a copy at a later time;
- the copyright owner made the document available “for free” on Scribd or on another website;
- you derive no financial compensation or benefit from the infringement;
- you share copyrighted works for so-called “educational” or “non-commercial” use;
- you declare that “no copyright infringement is intended”;
- you set a copyrighted work to “private,” or when you intend to share only with a small group of your friends or family;
- you accurately attribute the owner or author of the copyrighted content;
- you use your creativity to update, change, or alter a copyrighted work;
- your Scribd account has been suspended.
What are the consequences of copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement, at the very least, can lead to the removal of your Scribd account and all your documents. However, you may still be prosecuted and held liable for monetary damages.
What is fair use?
“Fair Use” is a doctrine under United States copyright law that provides for extremely limited use of limited portions of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the copyright holder. Fair Use does not allow you to distribute copyrighted works in their entirety for non-commercial or educational purposes, nor does it allow you to redistribute copyrighted works that you have previously purchased or downloaded for free on another website.
Scribd does not evaluate claims of fair use, and must rely on the direction of a judge or other appropriate official. You may be liable for monetary damages if you use copyrighted work in a manner that is determined by a court of law to not meet the standard of Fair Use.
What is the public domain?
“Public domain” refers to creative works to which the copyright has expired or been voluntarily forfeited. Copyright restrictions do not apply to works in the public domain. Content in the public domain can be copied, altered, or repurposed by anyone, at any time. Traditionally, items under copyright enter the public domain after a certain period of time. Certain items, such as laws, court records, and official documents published by the United States government are always in the public domain.
What are some alternatives to copyright?
The copyright options available in most countries, full copyright (“all rights reserved”) and public domain (“no rights reserved”), are occasionally insufficient to accommodate limited re-use of content in the digital era. Alternatives that attempt to add greater flexibility to copyright licensing have emerged in response. The most widely-used, Creative Commons, endeavors to strike a balance between the extremes and provide creators with greater flexibility and choice. Creative Commons licenses are a way for creators to offer the public limited permission to re-use, copy, distribute, and build upon original works. Creative Commons licenses do not “replace” copyright, and do not limit creator rights in any way. We encourage creators to take advantage of Creative Commons licenses. You can activate Creative Commons licenses by editing your document’s settings once it is uploaded.
Creative Commons licenses can only apply to original works, or works derived from other works in the public domain or the Creative Commons. Any attempt to apply a Creative Commons license to another’s copyrighted work is copyright infringement.
Scribd supports the following copyright licenses:
|Copyright. All rights reserved.|
|Under traditional copyright, no one may copy, re-use, build upon, or edit your work in any way without your explicit permission.|
|Attribution (CC BY)|
|CC BY lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered.|
|Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)|
|CC BY-SA lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.|
|Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND)|
|CC BY-ND allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.|
|Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)|
|CC BY-NC lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.|
|Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)|
|CC BY-NC-SA lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.|
|Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)|
|CC BY-NC-ND is the most restrictive of the Creative Commons licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.|
|Public domain refers to creative works to which the copyright has expired or been voluntarily forfeited. Copyright restrictions do not apply to works in the public domain. Content in the public domain can be copied, altered, or repurposed by anyone, at any time.|
Can I copyright my work by publishing on Scribd?
In the United States, an original work enjoys protection from copyright infringement from the moment it is created and “fixed in a tangible medium of expression.” Publishing to Scribd confers no special status.
Can I post copyrighted content if it is intended for educational or non-commercial use?
No. There is no exception under United States copyright law for the redistribution of complete copyrighted works for educational or noncommercial purposes. You can be held monetarily liable for copyright infringement, even if you have not received financial compensation for distributing copyrighted content.
How can I tell if a document I’ve uploaded infringes someone’s copyright?
Researching the copyright status of a creative work can be difficult and challenging. While the US copyright office provides a search of its database at http://www.copyright.gov/records/, the records may not be complete and should not be considered a definitive source.
The basic rule of thumb is, if you did not create a work yourself and you are unsure whether it is copyrighted, then do not upload it to Scribd.
Reporting copyright infringements
Contents on Scribd.com and in the Scribd app are provided by Scribd's members without pre-approval by Scribd. Scribd takes intellectual property rights very seriously and complies as a service provider with all applicable provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. We expeditiously remove infringing material when notified and we also terminate repeat infringers pursuant to a "three-strikes" policy. Since Scribd is based in the United States, a notification that complies with DMCA criteria is the minimum that Scribd can accept as proof-of-copyright, even if your country operates under different laws. Scribd cannot process notifications that disregard DMCA criteria and provide incomplete information.
How do I report an infringement of my copyright on Scribd?Use this form.
Who can report copyright infringements?
Under the DMCA, you may request removal of an alleged copyright infringement only if:
- You are the creator of content posted to Scribd without your permission
- You are the duly authorized representative of the rights holder of content posted to Scribd without permission
These requirements suggest that only rights holders are in a position to know where and how they have authorized their works to appear, and whether they object to the presence of their content at a given location. In compliance with the law, Scribd will only process notifications from rights holders or their agents.
If you are concerned that a work on Scribd is not authorized by the copyright holder, please contact the author or publisher directly so that they can take the necessary steps to request removal. Many publishers provide special forms or email addresses on their websites for readers concerned about possible infringements.
How can I report infringements of other people’s work?
Scribd cannot accept notifications of copyright infringement from concerned readers or other third parties. If you are concerned that a work on Scribd is not authorized by the copyright holder, please contact the author or publisher directly so that they can take the necessary steps to request removal. Many publishers provide special forms or email addresses on their websites for readers concerned about possible infringements.
How can I monitor for infringements of my copyright?
The following services are available to help copyright holders monitor Scribd and other websites for possible infringements. These listings are provided for informational purposes only and Scribd does not recommend or endorse any particular service. Please direct any questions you have to the listed company.
Google alerts is a free service that will email you whenever an item that references certain keywords are indexed by the Google search engine. This is the cheapest and simplest way to monitor for your content on Scribd. Items uploaded to Scribd are usually indexed by Google within a few hours. To receive a notification that an item has been indexed by Google:
- Log into Google, and go to http://google.com/alerts
- Enter an appropriate search query, typically the author's name or a title of a publication. To focus your search on Scribd, use the "site:scribd.com" operator (without quotes). A typical Scribd-focused search query looks like
"stephen king shining" site:scribd.com
Eliminate the site:scribd.com operator to search the entire Internet.
- Set HOW OFTEN: to "As-it-happens" and set HOW MANY: to "All results"
- Click CREATE ALERT to create your alert.
See here for more details on using Google search operators to help narrow your search.
There are many commercial service providers that can help you monitor your intellectual property on the internet. Some of these are:
How can I find out more general information about copyright?
The United States copyright office and the Library of Congress provide a wealth of information related to copyrights in the United States at http://copyright.gov.
For countries outside the US, the World Intellectual Property Organization provides a list of copyright-related websites for countries around the world at http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/urls.jsp.
BookID™ copyright protection system
How does Scribd protect intellectual property?
Scribd is fully compliant with the DMCA and complies with all applicable laws. Scribd responds to valid notifications of copyright infringement within 2 business days. Scribd has also developed BookID, an automated copyright protection system that helps to safeguard intellectual property on Scribd.com and in the Scribd mobile app. BookID scans every document uploaded to Scribd and removes those that have the same, or a substantially similar, fingerprint. BookID intermittently scans the entire Scribd library to remove matching content that was uploaded prior to fingerprinting. BookID’s approach reduces misidentifications and enables the detection of infringing works even if they have been altered to some degree.
What is BookID?
BookID is Scribd’s automated copyright protection system. Scribd developed BookID to help safeguard intellectual property on Scribd.com and in the Scribd mobile app.
How does BookID work?
BookID algorithmically analyzes computer-readable text for semantic data that it then encodes into a digital "fingerprint.” BookID stores the fingerprints of known copyrighted works on a secure server that is inaccessible to the Internet and the general public.
BookID scans every document uploaded to Scribd and removes those that have the same, or a substantially similar, fingerprint. BookID intermittently scans the entire Scribd library to remove matching content that was uploaded prior to fingerprinting. BookID’s approach reduces misidentifications and enables the detection of infringing works even if they have been altered to some degree.
When is content fingerprinted by BookID?
Content is fingerprinted by BookID when:
- it is uploaded directly to BookID by a verified author or publisher enrolled in the BookID for Authors and Publishers Program;
- it is added to Scribd’s subscription reading and listening service through a verified publisher or distributor.
- it is removed from Scribd pursuant to a DMCA notification.
Is BookID guaranteed to detect all copyright infringements?
No. BookID relies on computer-readable text, which is not necessarily the same as text that is readable by humans. Content scanned from paper sources may not contain computer-readable text, which makes those sources unsuitable for fingerprinting. Similarly, text that is encoded with optical character recognition (OCR) technology may contain garbled or partial data. These conditions make it very difficult, if not impossible, to detect matches.
BookID’s fingerprint scanner cannot detect specific keywords, titles, names, copyright notices, or other disclaimers that are part of a document's text. In other words, BookID cannot be programmed to block all documents that contain a book’s title. Likewise, BookID cannot translate different languages. If BookID fingerprints an English-language document, it can only detect subsequent uploads that are also in English.
BookID cannot detect images, illustrations, and sheet music at this time.
Disputing removed content
What do I do if BookID misidentifies my content as infringing?
BookID contains fingerprints of educational textbooks and other works that contain long excerpts of classic literature, religious texts, legal documents, and government publications that are typically in the public domain. This occasionally results in the temporary removal of non-copyrighted, authorized, or public domain material from Scribd.com and the mobile app.
While the occasional false positives is inevitable, we continually tune BookID to reduce their occurrence. Unfortunately, the high volume of fingerprints and uploads to Scribd prevent us from conducting manual oversight or uploader notification prior to removing a match. If you have received a notification that your work was removed by BookID and you feel the removal was improper, forward the notification that you received to email@example.com along with an explanation of your concern. We will review each case as quickly as possible.
How do I dispute a removal of my content due to a DMCA notification?
Scribd removes content upon receipt of a valid DMCA notification. Scribd notifies the uploading member at the email address on file immediately upon the content’s removal. Scribd members can appeal a DMCA notification through a process called counter-notification.
If you believe that a DMCA notification sent to Scribd was in error, you must send Scribd a communication that contains the following:
- Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.
- A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.
- The subscriber’s name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the subscriber’s address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which Scribd may be found, and that the subscriber will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.
- A physical or electronic signature of the subscriber.
Scribd will forward your counter-notification to the original complainant. Scribd is not authorized to mediate or adjudicate your dispute with the complainant.
Once the complainant receives your counter-notification, they can choose to resolve the issue with you directly, voluntary rescind their complaint, or ignore your counter-notification. Scribd can then restore the content to the site once the complainant rescinds their notification or if they ignore your counter-notification for more than fourteen (14) days,
Counter-notifications can be sent by mail to:
Scribd, Inc. Attn: Scribd DMCA copyright infringement notification 460 Bryant Street, #100 San Francisco, CA 94107-2594 USA
or fax to:
415.896.9896 Attn: Scribd DMCA copyright infringement notification
or email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Scribd DMCA copyright infringement notification