The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), on behalf of a coalition of its member publishers, has asked the High Court in London, England to hold Andrew Amue, the founder of the www.evanglibrary.info and www.evanglibrary.com websites, in contempt of court. He had repeatedly refused to comply with a 2008 Court Order requiring him to cease display of over 130 copyright Christian books on his sites without permission, according to a press release issued by ECPA.
After ECPA secured evidence that Amue continued to operate the infringing sites, ECPA and the publisher coalition determined that they had no choice but to ask the Court to enforce the Order. Shortly before making the application, ECPA’s London counsel provided Amue with one last opportunity to cease the infringement. Amue acknowledged that he was still working on the site and claimed that the sites would not comply with copyright laws, laws that he implies are “ungodly, and anti-Christian, and against the Holy Bible.”
ECPA first became aware more than six years ago of Amue’s site at www.biblecentre.net, which featured a collection of the full texts of hundreds of copyrighted Christian theological works displayed without permission. Amue first offered free access to the texts, then started charging a subscription fee. ECPA organized a coalition of its member publishers, comprised of Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Baker Publishing Group, Tyndale, Moody, Logos Software, and IVP UK, to address the infringement.
ECPA repeatedly asked Amue to cease infringing copyright in the works in numerous letters and emails over a period of many years. He refused to either secure the necessary licenses or to remove the works from his websites, according to the news release.
In March 2008, the ECPA coalition secured an Order from the High Court in London requiring Amue to cease the infringement. The publishers were unable to serve the Order on him for over a year as he moved residences and changed his name, apparently in an attempt to avoid being served. Later, he claimed in an email that he no longer controlled the sites and therefore could not be held responsible for their content. Amue had made a similar claim in 2003 when first approached by ECPA lawyers.
ECPA President and CEO Mark Kuyper said, “Given the increased movement toward the digital distribution of intellectual property, it is more important than ever to affirm the boundaries of the law. As good stewards of their authors’ copyrights, these publishers are fulfilling their responsibility to address blatant and continued infringement.”