Lifestyle

Feud: John Wiley & Sons vs. BitTorrent users

For Dummies book publisher takes on "John Does" of BitTorent.

(Photo: Corbis and Cindy Ord/Getty)

The Conflict: Wiley has published more than 1,600 titles under the wildly popular For Dummies label, including Baby Massage For Dummies and Borderline Personality Disorder For Dummies. So popular is the series, in fact, that some people may have distributed the titles illegally over the Internet. Wiley launched a lawsuit against 27 “John Does” alleged to have distributed its books through BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network. The company accuses the defendants of “willful infringement” of its copyrights and trademarks, threatening profitability.

Latest Round: At this point, Wiley is seeking to learn the identifies of the defendants to work toward out-of-court settlements. The lawsuit doesn’t specify if the alleged infringers were aided by one particular Wiley title, BitTorrent For Dummies.