Throwing the Book at Illegal Distributors of a Bestselling Novel


Smartphone users spend roughly 80% of their device time using downloaded apps. Piracy of popular entertainment content on the Internet represents a significant revenue drain on the industry. In order to keep up with the demand for mobile entertainment media, the entertainment industry has created mobile friendly versions of their products, from games to movies to novels. Mobile media pirates, who are constantly devising new methods of skirting the law, produce simple free apps containing unlawful content, profiting by attaching monetized advertising to the app and costing the rightful publisher millions of dollars in diverted revenue.

The Business Challenge:

A best-selling novel published by a major publishing house had gained international acclaim as the author appeared on talk shows and was featured in “must read” lists. The brand manager for the publisher worried that a number of apps may have been offering illegal copies of the novel for download. The publisher had contracted its electronic distribution to e-book companies. An initial review of a single app store revealed several hundred apps offering free text versions of the novel. A conservative estimate of the value of the illegally distributed copies exceeded $800,000 per year–a significant loss of revenue.

The Appdetex Solution

  • AppDetex offers an unparalleled database of apps available on app stores from around the world, updated daily to include the newest, most relevant data. Using AppDetex’s proprietary search features, the brand manager identified numerous apps offering free text versions of the novel. AppDetex was also able to isolate the specific countries where the rogue apps were located.
  • The brand manager then entered the apps into AppDetex’s case management system. This proprietary online interface stored, tracked, and organized all enforcement communications during the takedown of the infringing apps, creating documentation for future in-house use or legal proceedings.
  • The Enforcement Portal allowed the brand manager to send cease-and-desist notices to the app developers, issue takedown complaints to the app stores, and track enforcement procedures online.
  • After performing an initial round of takedowns to prevent immediate loss of sales, the brand manager set up automated BrandTrack® reports for the popular novel to receive daily scans that would uncover new, infringing apps.