Scribd… Publisher of all things stolen…

In recent weeks it seems not a day goes by without me getting a notification of a stolen article that has been uploaded into Scribd ( To be fair to them, every time I’ve written to ask them to remove the content they have done, but I’m failing to see the business model here. From what I can see the whole site is just made up of stolen PowerPoint, PDF, Word and HTML files. There seems to be little if any original content present at all.

As far as my own slides and html files are concerned, the users uploading them seem to make a habit of uploading anything they can get their hands on. I’ve also seen copies of Oracle books in PDF format, which look like they have been scanned in manually, and even the whole Oracle documentation in PDF format uploaded.

I just don’t see the incentive for the users of this site. What is the point of uploading documents that are already freely available on the net. Surely just a link in your favorites list is all you need. In the case of plagiarists, they are trying to pass work off as their own, but that is not what Scribd users seem to do. They just upload the content as-is. Why? I just don’t get it.

Anyway, if you publish any content and you are bored one day, have a search through Scribd (using your domain name, blog URL or real name) and you will probably find something of yours that has been stolen. If you do, follow the Copyright link at the bottom of the page and it will tell you how to send a DCMA takedown notice. They usually respond pretty quickly. I guess if everyone did this the site would be empty and they would probably move on to some other form of organised crime. :)