A few weeks ago, Scribd launched a beta test of a premium feature that allows people to download certain archived content for a fee. This does not restrict people's ability to read the content in other ways, such as their computers and mobile devices. The vast majority of people choose to read using Scribd's (free) HTML5 reading experience.
We launched the archive feature because, in order for us to continue building free products that content publishers and readers love, we have to be able to pay for the servers that host the documents and the engineers to maintain the site (plus everything else that keeps a company running).
All this being said, this program seems to have caused some confusion, so please allow me to clarify a few things:
We value tremendously the authors and others who contribute to the Scribd community. We would never purposefully do anything that would jeopardize our good standing with you. That's why this program gives you, the contributors, the ability to remove all your content from the Scribd Archive.
Based on recent feedback and to avoid further confusion, we're now making this opt-out option even easier; to immediately and permanently remove all your content from the archive, go into the "settings" page in your profile and check the box under "The Scribd Archive." Here's an FAQ for more information.
If you're not familiar with Scribd, I encourage you to read the Scribd 101 series (or see one author's story here about her Scribd experience). We may not execute flawlessly every time, but our goal, as always, is to build the best possible platform for content creators to connect with the broadest possible audience.