Emerging Technology

Google disabled an author’s AdSense account for distributing his own book

Andrew Sadauskas /

Google disabled the AdSense account of an author who linked to an online copy of his own self-published book during a copyright crackdown.

According to TechDirt, author and Iraq war veteran Cody Jackson decided to post a link from his website to various sources where his self-published book, Start Programming with Python, could be downloaded for free.

Despite owning the copyright to his own book, Jackson alleges he received an automated message from Google stating that his AdSense account has been suspended because:

“As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on sites involved in the distribution of copyrighted materials. This includes hosting copyrighted files on your site, as well as providing links for or driving traffic to sites that contain copyrighted material.”

After contacting Google to inform the company he had released the book under a Creative Commons licence and the free downloads were authorised by him as the copyright owner, Google allegedly sent a second automated message stating:

“Thank you for providing us with additional information about your site. However, after thoroughly reviewing python-ebook.blogspot.com and taking your feedback into consideration, we’re unable to re-enable ad serving to your site at this time, as your site appears to still be in violation.”

Following media attention, Google has since re-enabled Jackson’s account.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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