Responding to a copyright issue

As a company, we take relationships with our authors, our talent, and our content partners seriously.

By Laura Baldwin
January 2, 2020
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Through a tweet this morning it was brought to our attention that some pirated content may exist on the O’Reilly learning platform. We immediately vetted the content and discovered that a long-standing content provider to O’Reilly’s learning platform sub-licensed a set of content from another supplier on key technology topics. This was done using copyrighted material without the appropriate permissions. The video courses included new voice overs to mask the origin of the content and therefore was not caught by our partner’s QA team, nor by O’Reilly until it was brought to our attention. Upon investigation, and through working with our content partner, we determined the video courses were indeed infringing on copyright.

O’Reilly did receive a DMCA take down request in October 2019 for one title and immediately took action, removing it from the platform. Today’s tweet drove us to take a deeper dive into our content partner and we discovered the issue was larger than one title. As a result of confirming the infringement, we have removed all 18 infringing McLearn eLearning video courses from the O’Reilly platform. Our content partner continues to work with the rightful owners of the video courses to remedy the situation.

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O’Reilly’s learning platform brings together hundreds of content publishers and creators into a subscription-based, user-centric offering focused on the technical and business topics professionals need today. But that’s only one facet of the O’Reilly business. For more than 40 years O’Reilly has been a technical publisher and content creator, spreading the knowledge of industry experts and innovators, enabling practitioners to realize their potential.

As a company, we take relationships with our authors, our talent, and our content partners seriously. We have built our long-standing reputation through the consistent application of our core values and operating principles to all of our relationships. We are selective in whom we partner with, to help ensure the content we create is developed by experts, and that the content we license into our learning platform meets our customer promise of quality, integrity, and relevance.

Our approach has worked well, and as with most things, has evolved over time. We continually review and curate the learning resources we make available from our partners and those we create to ensure they remain relevant in today’s technical and business landscape. Sometimes our job in those instances is one of curation. And sometimes we discover, or have it brought to our attention, more serious issues such as copyright infringement. In these instances, O’Reilly performs due diligence to understand the situation and then uses that information to inform our next steps.

We’re not perfect and mistakes happen, but our goal remains consistent—to bring together the best technical and business content into the O’Reilly learning platform, in a variety of formats, created by industry experts, and through relationships built upon honesty, integrity, and openness.

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