Scribd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Scribd
Scribd logo.svg
Type Private
Founded San Francisco, California, USA
(March 2007)
Headquarters San Francisco, California, USA
Key people Trip Adler (CEO, co-founder),
Jared Friedman (CTO, co-founder),
Tikhon Bernstam (COO, co-founder)
Services Social reading and publishing platform
Website Scribd.com
Alexa rank positive decrease 310 (April 2014)[1]
Type of site Social Software
Available in English, Spanish, Portuguese
Current status Active

Scribd /ˈskrɪbd/ is a digital library, featuring a subscription service with premier books including New York Times bestsellers and classics.

Launched in 2007 by Trip Adler and Jared Friedman, Scribd also features written works contributed by users around the world and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Backed by Y Combinator, Charles River Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures, Scribd is a major website with more than 80 million active readers coming to the site every month.[2]

Scribd's subscription service is available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as the Kindle Fire, the Nook, and personal computers for a monthly fee of $8.99, and lets readers have unlimited access to more than 100,000 books from over 900 publishers, including Harper Collins, RosettaBooks, and Workman.[3]

History[edit]

The idea for Scribd was originally inspired when Trip Adler was at Harvard and had a conversation with his father, John R. Adler, about the difficulties of publishing academic papers. He teamed up with co-founders Jared Friedman and Tikhon Bernstam and they attended Y Combinator in Cambridge in the summer of 2006.[4] Scribd was launched from a San Francisco apartment in March 2007 and quickly grew in traffic. In 2008, it ranked as one of the top 20 social media sites according to Comscore.[5] In June 2009, Scribd launched Scribd Store,[6] and shortly thereafter closed a deal with Simon & Schuster to sell ebooks on Scribd.[7] Over 900 publishers including HarperCollins, Workman, RosettaBooks, Random House, Wiley, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pearson, Harvard University Press and Stanford University Press are now associated with Scribd. ProQuest began publishing dissertations and theses on Scribd in December 2009.

In October 2009, Scribd launched its branded reader for media companies with The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and MediaBistro.[8] Over 100 media companies now use Scribd’s branded reader to embed source material into their stories. In August 2010, news stories began to break and documents and books began to go viral on Scribd including the overturned Prop 8 and HP’s lawsuit against Mark Hurd’s move to Oracle Corporation.

In October 2013, Scribd officially launched the first global subscription service for digital books, often called the "Netflix for ebooks",[9] giving readers unlimited access to Scribd library.[10] The company also announced a partnership with major publishing company HarperCollins.[2] The official statement revealed that the "majority" of the HarperCollins US and HarperCollins Christian catalogs will be available in Scribd's subscription service. Chantal Restivo-Alessi, chief digital officer at HarperCollins, explained to the media that the deal represents the first time that the publisher has released such a large portion of its catalog.[11]

As of December 2013, Adler is the CEO of Scribd, where he is responsible for the product and strategic direction of the company. Adler was named in BusinessWeek's "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2010" list.[12]

Timeline[edit]

In February 2010, Scribd unveiled its first mobile plans for e-readers and smartphones.[13] In April 2010 Scribd launched a new feature called "Readcast",[14] which allows automatic sharing of documents on Facebook and Twitter.[15] Also in April 2010, Scribd announced its integration of Facebook social plug-ins at the Facebook f8 Developer Conference.[16]

Scribd rolled-out a re-design on September 13, 2010 to become, according to TechCrunch, "the social network for reading".[17]

In October 2013, Scribd launched its ebook subscription service, allowing readers to pay a flat monthly fee in exchange for unlimited access to all of Scribd's book titles. They also announced a partnership with HarperCollins.[18]

Financials[edit]

The company was initially funded with US$12,000 from Y Combinator, and received over US$3.7 million in June 2007 from Redpoint Ventures and The Kinsey Hills Group.[19][20] In December 2008, the company raised US$9 million in a second round of funding, led by Charles River Ventures with re-investment from Redpoint Ventures and Kinsey Hills Group, and hired as president George Consagra, former Bebo COO and managing director of Organic Inc.[21] Consagra left Scribd and became CEO of Good Guide in August 2010.

David O. Sacks, former PayPal COO and founder of Yammer and Geni, joined Scribd’s board of directors in January 2010. In January 2011, Scribd raised its largest round, bringing in an additional $13M. The latest round was led by MLC Investments of Australia and SVB Capital and included several previous investors.[22]

Technology[edit]

In July 2008, Scribd began using iPaper, a rich document format similar to PDF built for the web, which allows users to embed documents into a web page.[23] iPaper was built with Adobe Flash, allowing it to be viewed the same across different operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux) without conversion, as long as the reader has Flash installed (although Scribd has announced non-Flash support for the iPhone).[24] All major document types can be formatted into iPaper including Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, OpenDocument documents, OpenOffice.org XML documents, and PostScript files.

All iPaper documents are hosted on Scribd. Scribd allows published documents to either be private or open to the larger Scribd community. The iPaper document viewer is also embeddable in any website or blog, making it simple to embed documents in their original layout regardless of file format. Scribd iPaper required Flash cookies to be enabled, which is the default setting in Flash.[25]

On May 5, 2010, Scribd announced that they would be converting the entire site to HTML5 at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.[26] TechCrunch reported that Scribd is migrating away from Flash to HTML5. "Scribd co-founder and chief technology officer Jared Friedman tells me: 'We are scrapping three years of Flash development and betting the company on HTML5 because we believe HTML5 is a dramatically better reading experience than Flash. Now any document can become a Web page.'"[27] In July 2010 Publishers Weekly wrote a cover story on Scribd entitled "Betting the House on HTML5."[28]

Scribd has its own API to integrate external/third-party applications.[29]

Since 2010, Scribd has been available on mobile phones and e-readers, in addition to personal computers. As of December 2013, Scribd is available through the app store on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, the Kindle Fire, and the Nook.

Reception[edit]

Scribd has been praised by several newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal.[30] In 2013, the company was dubbed the "Netflix for ebooks"[9] by Wired, and is a known pioneer of the "all-you-can-read" model for ebooks.[31]

According to Scribd, more than 80 million readers from over 100 countries use the site on a monthly basis. Their library includes more than 100,000 subscription books from 900+ publishers, and over 40 million documents and books have been uploaded to the site. Scribd readers have access to books by famous authors like Kurt Vonnegut, Paolo Coelho, and Meg Cabot.

Notable users of Scribd include Virginia senator Mark Warner,[32] former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, New York Times DealBook reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, All Things D Reporter Kara Swisher, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Red Cross, UNICEF, World Economic Forum, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, The World Bank, Ford Motor Company, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung and the Hasmonean High School Living Torah.

Accusations of copyright infringement[edit]

Scribd has often been accused of copyright infringement. In March 2009, Scribd launched a "copyright management system" and has made upgrades to its system including the reported addition of OCR. The New York Times reported in May 2009 that Scribd was hosting pirated works by authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King.[33]

In September 2009, American author Elaine Scott alleged that Scribd "shamelessly profits from the stolen copyrighted works of innumerable authors."[34] Her attorneys Joe Sibley and Kiwi Camara sought class action status in their efforts to win damages from Scribd for allegedly "egregious copyright infringement."[35][36] On May 11, 2009, Motoko Rich, writing in the New York Times, reported on Scribd's hosting of pirated works. Sibley Camara filed a class action lawsuit against Scribd, accusing it of calculated copyright infringement for profit.[37] The suit was dropped in July 2010.[38][39]

In 2007, one year after its inception, Scribd was served with 25 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices.[40] The total number of DMCA notices that have been served to the company is unknown, but, on 8 January 2013, a single author Steven Saylor notified Scribd of 17 unauthorized uploads of his copyrighted work.[41]

Controversies[edit]

In March 2009, the passwords of several Comcast customers were leaked on Scribd. The passwords were later removed when the news was published by The New York Times.[42][43][44]

In July 2010, GigaOM reported that the script of The Social Network movie was uploaded and leaked on Scribd; it was promptly taken down per Sony’s DMCA request.[45]

Following a decision of the Istanbul 12th Criminal Court of Peace, dated 8 March 2013, access to Scribd is blocked for Internet users in Turkey.[46]

Supported file formats[edit]

Supported formats include:[47]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Scribd.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ a b Julie Bosman (October 1, 2013). "HarperCollins Joins Scribd in E-Book Subscription Plan". Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ Holmes, David (2013-11-18). "What does achieving a big milestone get you at Scribd? An equally big office perk.". Pando.com. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  4. ^ "Scribd". Crunchbase.com. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  5. ^ "Scribd had a blowout year and so did the web document". 
  6. ^ Brad Stone (17 May 2009). "Site Lets Writers Sell Digital Copies". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Brad Stone (11 July 2009). "Simon & Schuster to Sell Digital Books on Scribd.com". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "From The Desk Of Your News Outlet And Scribd". Reuters. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  9. ^ a b Metz, Cade. "Scribd Challenges Amazon and Apple With 'Netflix for Books'". Wired. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  10. ^ "Scribd Launches First Global, Multi-Platform Digital Book Subscription Service" (Press release). Scribd. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  11. ^ Anthony Ha (1 October 2013). "With HarperCollins Deal, Scribd Unveils Its Bid To Become The Netflix For Books". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2010". Business Week. Retrieved 2010. 
  13. ^ Fowler, Geoffrey A. (2010-02-10). "Scribd Plans Mobile Application". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  14. ^ "Scribd gets 'Readcasting': Autosharing made easy". CNet. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  15. ^ "Scribd launches readcast". Marketwire. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  16. ^ "Scribd's bet on the Facebook Effect". CNN. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  17. ^ "Scribd Redesign Is An Attempt To Become A "Social Network For Reading"". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  18. ^ Carr, Austin (2013-10-01). "Scribd, HarperCollins Launch $8.99 Subscription Book Service". Fast Company. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  19. ^ "Scribd Banks $3.5 Million from Redpoint". 
  20. ^ "Scribd – CrunchBase Company Profile". 
  21. ^ "Scribd raises $9 million, hires new president for social publishing". 
  22. ^ "Scribd Raises $13 Million To Support Mobile Moves, Product Expansion". paidContent.org. 19 Jan 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "iPaper: a Simple Way to View and Share Documents on the Web". Wired. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Scribd on your iPhone". 
  25. ^ "Global Storage Settings panel". Macromedia.com. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  26. ^ "HTML5 and The Future of Publishing". Web 2.0 Expo. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  27. ^ Erick Schonfeld (May 5, 2010). "Scribd CTO: We Are Scrapping Flash And Betting The Company On HTML5". Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Betting the House on HTML 5". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  29. ^ "Scribd SAP Largest API Integration Press Release". Scribd. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  30. ^ "Press". Scribd. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  31. ^ Schnuer, Jenna (2013-11-08). "We Test It: Scribd's All-You-Can Read Digital Buffet". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  32. ^ "Mark Warner". scribd.com. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  33. ^ Motoko Rich (2009-05-11). "Print Books Are Target of Pirates on the Web". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  34. ^ Johnson, Bobbie (2009-09-21). "Book sharing site Scribd rejects claims of copyright infringement". The Guardian (London). 
  35. ^ Greg Sandoval (September 19, 2009). "Jammie Thomas lawyers file suit against Scribd". Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  36. ^ Motoko Rich (2009-09-19). "Jammie Thomas lawyers file suit against Scribd". CNET News.com. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  37. ^ "Class Action Copyright Suit Filed Against Scribd... By Jammie Thomas' Lawyers?". TechDirt. 2009-09-21. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  38. ^ "Lawsuit Saying Scribd's Copyright-Protection Filters Infringe On Copyrights Has Been Dumped". Scribd. TechDirt. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  39. ^ Kravets, David (2010-07-19). "Lawsuit Dropped; Claimed That Copyright-Filtering Violates Copyright". Wired. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  40. ^ "Scribd looks like a winner". Scribd. TechCrunch. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  41. ^ Steven Saylor (8 January 2013). "Archive Page". Steven Saylor. Steven Saylor. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  42. ^ Stone, Brad (29 March 2009). "passwords of comcast customers exposed". nytimes.com. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  43. ^ "Comcast passwords leaked onto the web". cnet.com. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  44. ^ "Comcast passwords exposed". hothardware.com. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  45. ^ Gannes, Liz. "Leaked Facebook Movie Script Paints Zuckerberg as Vindictive and Naive". Gigaom. 
  46. ^ "Freedom on the Net – Turkey 2013". Freedom House. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  47. ^ Jason (February 26, 2009). "Info, FAQs, and Forums/FAQ: Writing, Uploading and Managing Documents". Retrieved October 11, 2010. 

External links[edit]