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Scribd Scribd logo.svg
San Francisco, California, USA
(March 2007)
San Francisco, California, USA
Key people
Trip Adler (CEO, co-founder),
Jared Friedman (CTO, co-founder),
Tikhon Bernstam (COO, co-founder)
Social reading and publishing platform
Alexa rank
negative increase 352 (December 2014)[1]
Type of site
Social Software
Available in
English, Spanish, Portuguese
Current status Active
Scribd /'skr?bd/ is a digital library, featuring an ebook and audiobook subscrip
tion service that includes New York Times Best-Sellers and classics.
Launched in 2007 by Trip Adler and Jared Friedman, and headquartered in San Fran
cisco, CA, Scribd also features written works contributed by users around the wo
rld. Backed by Y Combinator, Charles River Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures, Scri
bd serves more than 80 million active readers coming to the site every month.[2]
Scribd's subscription service is available on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone sm
artphones and tablets, as well as the Kindle Fire, Nook, and personal computers
for a fee which lets readers have unlimited access to more than 500,000 books fr
om over 900 publishers, including Harper Collins, Simon and Schuster, RosettaBoo
ks, and Workman.[3] In November 2014, audiobooks were added without an additiona
l fee to the subscription.[4]

5.1 Accusations of copyright infringement
5.2 Controversies
Supported file formats
See also
External links

The idea for Scribd was originally inspired when Trip Adler was at Harvard and h
ad a conversation with his father, John R. Adler, about the difficulties of publ
ishing academic papers. He teamed up with co-founders Jared Friedman and Tikhon
Bernstamm and they attended Y Combinator in Cambridge in the summer of 2006.[5]
Scribd was launched from a San Francisco apartment in March 2007 and quickly gre

w in traffic. In 2008, it ranked as one of the top 20 social media sites accordi
ng to Comscore.[6] In June 2009, Scribd launched Scribd Store[7] and shortly the
reafter closed a deal with Simon & Schuster to sell ebooks on Scribd.[8] Over 90
0 publishers, including HarperCollins, Harvard University Press, Houghton Miffli
n Harcourt, Wiley, Pearson, Random House, RosettaBooks, Stanford University Pres
s, and Workman, are now[when?] associated with Scribd.[citation needed] ProQuest
began publishing dissertations and theses on Scribd in December 2009.[citation
In October 2009, Scribd launched its branded reader for media companies with The
New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, TechCr
unch, and MediaBistro.[9] 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 over
turned Prop 8 and HP s lawsuit against Mark Hurd s move to Oracle Corporation.[citat
ion needed]
In October 2013, Scribd officially launched the first unlimited access subscript
ion service for digital books, often called the "Netflix for ebooks",[10] giving
readers unlimited access to Scribd library.[11] The company also announced a pa
rtnership with major publishing company HarperCollins.[2] The official statement
revealed that the "majority" of the HarperCollins US and HarperCollins Christia
n catalogs will be available in Scribd's subscription service. Chantal Restivo-A
lessi, chief digital officer at HarperCollins, explained to the media that the d
eal represents the first time that the publisher has released such a large porti
on of its catalog.[12]
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.[13]
In January 2015, the company raised $22 million in new funding from Khosla Ventu
res with partner Keith Rabois joining the Scribd board of directors.[14]
In February
hich allows
April 2010,
Facebook f8

2010, Scribd unveiled its first mobile plans for e-readers and smart
In April 2010 Scribd launched a new feature called "Readcast",[16] w
automatic sharing of documents on Facebook and Twitter.[17] Also in
Scribd announced its integration of Facebook social plug-ins at the
Developer Conference.[18]

Scribd rolled out a redesign on September 13, 2010 to become, according to TechC
runch, "the social network for reading".[19]
In October 2013, Scribd launched its ebook subscription service, allowing reader
s to pay a flat monthly fee in exchange for unlimited access to all of Scribd's
book titles.[20]
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 Gro
up.[21][22] 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 Ventu
res and Kinsey Hills Group, and hired as president George Consagra, former Bebo
COO and managing director of Organic Inc.[23] Consagra left Scribd and became CE
O 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 r
ound, bringing in an additional $13M. The latest round was led by MLC Investment

s of Australia and SVB Capital and included several previous investors.[24]

In July 2008, Scribd began using iPaper, a rich document format similar to PDF b
uilt for the web, which allows users to embed documents into a web page.[25] iPa
per was built with Adobe Flash, allowing it to be viewed the same across differe
nt 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).[26] All major document types can be formatted into iPaper incl
uding Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, OpenDocument documents, OpenOff
ice.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 vi
ewer is also embeddable in any website or blog, making it simple to embed docume
nts in their original layout regardless of file format. Scribd iPaper required F
lash cookies to be enabled, which is the default setting in Flash.[27]
On May 5, 2010, Scribd announced that they would be converting the entire site t
o HTML5 at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.[28] TechCrunch reported that
Scribd is migrating away from Flash to HTML5. "Scribd co-founder and chief tech
nology officer Jared Friedman tells me: 'We are scrapping three years of Flash d
evelopment and betting the company on HTML5 because we believe HTML5 is a dramat
ically better reading experience than Flash. Now any document can become a Web p
age.'"[29] In July 2010 Publishers Weekly wrote a cover story on Scribd entitled
"Betting the House on HTML5."[30]
Scribd has its own API to integrate external/third-party applications.[31]
Since 2010, Scribd has been available on mobile phones and e-readers, in additio
n to personal computers. As of December 2013, Scribd is available through the va
rious app stores on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as the Kind
le Fire and Nook tablets.
Scribd has been praised by several newspapers and magazines, including The New Y
ork Times, Fast Company, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal.[32] In 2013, the c
ompany was dubbed the "Netflix for ebooks"[10] by Wired, and is a known pioneer
of the "all-you-can-read" model for ebooks.[33]
According to Scribd, more than 80 million readers from over 100 countries use th
e 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 u
ploaded 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,[34] former Califor
nia gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, New York Times DealBook reporter Andrew
Ross Sorkin, All Things D Reporter Kara Swisher, the U.S. Federal Communication
s Commission (FCC), Red Cross, UNICEF, World Economic Forum, United Nations Econ
omic Commission for Europe, The World Bank, Ford Motor Company, Hewlett-Packard,
Samsung and the Hasmonean High School Living Torah.
Accusations of copyright infringement
Scribd has often been accused of copyright infringement. In March 2009, Scribd l
aunched a "copyright management system" and has made upgrades to its system incl
uding 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. Row
ling, and Stephen King.[35]

In September 2009, American author Elaine Scott alleged that Scribd "shamelessly
profits from the stolen copyrighted works of innumerable authors."[36] Her atto
rneys Joe Sibley and Kiwi Camara sought class action status in their efforts to
win damages from Scribd for allegedly "egregious copyright infringement."[37][38
] On May 11, 2009, Motoko Rich, writing in the New York Times, reported on Scrib
d's hosting of pirated works. Sibley Camara filed a class action lawsuit against
Scribd, accusing it of calculated copyright infringement for profit.[39] The su
it was dropped in July 2010.[40][41]
In 2007, one year after its inception, Scribd was served with 25 Digital Millenn
ium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices.[42] The total number of DMCA notices
that have been served to the company is unknown, but, on 8 January 2013, a singl
e author Steven Saylor notified Scribd of 17 unauthorized uploads of his copyrig
hted work.[43]
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 Ti
In July 2010, GigaOM reported that the script of The Social Network (2010) movie
was uploaded and leaked on Scribd; it was promptly taken down per Sony s DMCA req
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.[48]
Supported file formats
Supported formats include:[49]
Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx)
Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pps, .pptx, .ppsx)
Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
OpenDocument (.odt, .odp, .ods, .odf, .odg)
OpenOffice.org XML (.sxw, .sxi, .sxc, .sxd)
Plain text (.txt)
Portable Document Format (.pdf)
PostScript (.ps)
Rich text format (.rtf)
Tagged image file format (.tif, .tiff)
See also
Document collaboration
Wayback Machine
"Scribd.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-12-02.
Julie Bosman (October 1, 2013). "HarperCollins Joins Scribd in E-Book Subscr
iption Plan". Retrieved December 8, 2013.
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.
Scribd adds unlimited audiobooks to its $8.99 subscription ebook service
"Scribd". Crunchbase.com. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
"Scribd had a blowout year and so did the web document".
Brad Stone (17 May 2009). "Site Lets Writers Sell Digital Copies". The New Y
ork Times. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
Brad Stone (11 July 2009). "Simon & Schuster to Sell Digital Books on Scribd

.com". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2010.

"From The Desk Of Your News Outlet And Scribd". Reuters. 2009-10-07. Retriev
ed 2009-10-07.
Metz, Cade. "Scribd Challenges Amazon and Apple With 'Netflix for Books'". W
ired. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
"Scribd Launches First Global, Multi-Platform Digital Book Subscription Serv
ice" (Press release). Scribd. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
Anthony Ha (1 October 2013). "With HarperCollins Deal, Scribd Unveils Its Bi
d To Become The Netflix For Books". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved 1 October 201
"Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2010". Business Week. Retrieved 2010.
Fowler, Geoffrey A. (2010-02-10). "Scribd Plans Mobile Application". Wall St
reet Journal. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
"Scribd gets 'Readcasting': Autosharing made easy". CNet. Retrieved 2010-0421.
"Scribd launches readcast". Marketwire. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
"Scribd's bet on the Facebook Effect". CNN. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-04-21
"Scribd Redesign Is An Attempt To Become A "Social Network For Reading"". Te
chCrunch. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
Carr, Austin (2013-10-01). "Scribd, HarperCollins Launch $8.99 Subscription
Book Service". Fast Company. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
"Scribd Banks $3.5 Million from Redpoint".
CrunchBase Company Profile".
"Scribd raises $9 million, hires new president for social publishing".
"Scribd Raises $13 Million To Support Mobile Moves, Product Expansion". paid
Content.org. 19 Jan 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
"iPaper: a Simple Way to View and Share Documents on the Web". Wired. 2008-0
2-20. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
"Scribd on your iPhone".
"Global Storage Settings panel". Macromedia.com. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
"HTML5 and The Future of Publishing". Web 2.0 Expo. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
Erick Schonfeld (May 5, 2010). "Scribd CTO: We Are Scrapping Flash And Betti
ng The Company On HTML5". Retrieved October 11, 2010.
"Betting the House on HTML 5". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
"Scribd SAP Largest API Integration Press Release". Scribd. 2009-03-10. Retr
ieved 22 September 2010.
"Press". Scribd. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
Schnuer, Jenna (2013-11-08). "We Test It: Scribd's All-You-Can Read Digital
Buffet". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
"Mark Warner". scribd.com. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
Motoko Rich (2009-05-11). "Print Books Are Target of Pirates on the Web". Th
e New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
Johnson, Bobbie (2009-09-21). "Book sharing site Scribd rejects claims of co
pyright infringement". The Guardian (London).
Greg Sandoval (September 19, 2009). "Jammie Thomas lawyers file suit against
Scribd". Retrieved October 11, 2010.
Motoko Rich (2009-09-19). "Jammie Thomas lawyers file suit against Scribd".
CNET News.com. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
"Class Action Copyright Suit Filed Against Scribd... By Jammie Thomas' Lawye
rs?". TechDirt. 2009-09-21. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
"Lawsuit Saying Scribd's Copyright-Protection Filters Infringe On Copyrights
Has Been Dumped". Scribd. TechDirt. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
Kravets, David (2010-07-19). "Lawsuit Dropped; Claimed That Copyright-Filter
ing Violates Copyright". Wired. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
"Scribd looks like a winner". Scribd. TechCrunch. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 1
January 2010.
Steven Saylor (8 January 2013). "Archive Page". Steven Saylor. Steven Saylor
. Retrieved 15 December 2013.

Stone, Brad (29 March 2009). "passwords of comcast customers exposed". nytim
es.com. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
"Comcast passwords leaked onto the web". cnet.com. 29 March 2009. Retrieved
1 January 2010.
"Comcast passwords exposed". hothardware.com. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 1 Jan
uary 2010.
Gannes, Liz. "Leaked Facebook Movie Script Paints Zuckerberg as Vindictive a
nd Naive". Gigaom.
"Freedom on the Net
Turkey 2013". Freedom House. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
Jason (February 26, 2009). "Info, FAQs, and Forums/FAQ: Writing, Uploading a
nd Managing Documents". Retrieved October 11, 2010.
External links
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