Don’t pay to read public domain content on your iPad
28 Jul 2010 DPC
If a website wants money from you upfront but gives no indication of how they give you the content (while promising “no software to download, no databases to wade through”), put your credit card away and forget about it. If the site promises media such as TV or movies you can guarantee all you’ll end up with is a download of free P2P software.
Similarly, websites that offer up “thousands of free downloads” for devices like iPads without indicating how this is done will usually take your money then redirect you to a free source of public domain material – which also means the innocent content provider has to field complaints from angry “customers” of the original site. A telltale sign is when a site offers vague information, or contradictory claims saying they have “no direct database”, while also claiming a database is “added to daily”. Like this:
Note that they mention comics from Marvel and DC, yet there is absolutely no mention of licensing – Marvel and DC don’t roll like that. Comics seem to feature heavily in promotion of the site, whether through Youtube vids or the splash of Wolverine on the website itself.
Sure enough, it seems Bestpadmedia has been dissected in detail – it seems they simply link to free content websites, placing a banner at the top of the frame to make it look like the content is theirs. Of course, once the end-user realises they’re paying for public domain material, the complaints go to the owner of the public domain sites.
Here’s an interesting example of how the site starts linking to new content sources as old ones block them, along with the warning message displayed by the site epubbooks(dot)com who understandably weren’t too pleased about becoming the new fall guy.
Legal threats? Yep, those are in the mix too along with a curious attempt to convert the critic into an affiliate. The good news is that the site uses Clickbank for payments, which means you should be able to get your money back within 60 days.
The owner of Feedbooks(dot)com, whose site was being linked to from Mypadmedia until the complaints started coming in estimates roughly 250 people paid for this service. That’s a lot of money for content that you should be able to access for free. When in doubt, Google the content you’re looking for first – Project Gutenberg is an excellent place to start.