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Censorship Books Piracy The Internet Your Rights Online

Library.nu and Ifile.it Shut Down 336

Ralph Spoilsport writes "A coalition of 17 publishing companies has shut down library.nu and ifile.it, charging them with pirating ebooks. This comes less than a month after megaupload was shut down, and SOPA was stopped. If the busting of cyberlockers continues at this pace and online library sharing dismantled, this under-reported story may well be the tip of a very big iceberg — one quite beyond the P&L sheets of publishers and striking at basic human rights as outlined in the contradictions of the UN Charter. Is this a big deal — a grim coalition of corporate power? Or just mopping up some scurvy old pirates? Or somewhere in between?" Adds new submitter roaryk, "According to the complaint, the sites offered users access to 400,000 e-books and made more than $11 million in revenue in the process. The admins, Fidel Nunez and Irina Ivanova, have been tracked down using their PayPal donation account, which was not anonymous. Despite the claims of the industry the site admins say they were barely able to cover the server costs with the revenue."
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Library.nu and Ifile.it Shut Down

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  • by jesseck ( 942036 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:00PM (#39060893)
    I've heard of these buildings, many even publicly sponsored, where books are shared, and one does not need to pay the publisher for the privilege of reading their work. I propose these houses of corruption be banned, so they stop stealing from the coffers of the rich!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ScentCone ( 795499 )
      Does it actually hurt, physically, to make such a bad analogy? Is it sort of like passing a kidney stone?
      • by jesseck ( 942036 )

        Bad analogy? It was, I admit it. What is happening today is a precursor to the end of the current library model, though. We already see this with the ebook market- publishers need to decide if their works can be lent or not on Barnes & Noble (I own a Nook, so that's what I'm familiar with). Many books cannot be lent.

        Other media companies (movies, music, and gaming is starting as well) are doing their best to eliminate the second-hand markets, and to end sharing of the media with others. Academic bo

    • Public lending right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by langelgjm ( 860756 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:07PM (#39061035) Journal
      Actually, in many countries authors are already compensated for the lending of their books in public libraries by a public lending right [wikipedia.org]. Although not in the U.S... I suspect if publishers tried to pull that here, they'd get some seriously negative PR.
    • by robthebloke ( 1308483 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:58PM (#39061957)

      I propose these houses of corruption be banned

      In the UK, those houses of corruption are in the process of being closed down. As our fearless leaders will no doubt inform you, 'Big Society' demands 'Big Spaces', and some of our biggest spaces are filled to the brim with stupidly big books. As part of on-going austerity measures, and in the name of weaning the UK off fossil fuels, those big books will be reused as part of a new initiative to create a carbon neutral winter fuel allowance for the elderly [metro.co.uk]. Once cleared of the big books, the expectation is that Tesco and Sainsburies will become the custodians of those big spaces. Without big tins of baked beans on big shelves in big spaces, big society could never claim to be full of beans. It is a perfectly simple idea, and yet there are still people who are protesting all of this! Why can't they understand the flawless logic in this argument?

  • sooner or later (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Moheeheeko ( 1682914 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:00PM (#39060897)
    Seem like a matter of time before others join in on all the "fun". Encyclopedia Britannica sues to have Wikipedia taken down could be a future headline IMO.
  • by cornicefire ( 610241 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:05PM (#39060995)
    Unless you have permission. It's called freedom of speech. It's for expressing your opinions. It's for communicating your thoughts. It's not for sitting on your rear end and downloading some movie without paying for it. Calling downloading a "human right" is an insult to Martin Luther King, Peter Zenger, and everyone else who fought for our right to express ourselves.
    • It's not for sitting on your rear end and downloading some movie without paying for it. Calling downloading a "human right" is an insult to Martin Luther King, Peter Zenger, and everyone else who fought for our right to express ourselves.

      Considering that library.nu was a site for book piracy, I think your comment is a bit misguided. Frankly, I suspect Martin Luther King would probably have been okay with someone downloading "Why We Can't Wait" from library.nu.

    • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

      Distributing your own creative works IS a right, and it is being infringed upon by removing the medium of sharing in order to fight piracy.

      • by Pembers ( 250842 )
        If you've written a book and want to give it away, perhaps you shouldn't distribute it (only) via a site that's used mainly for hosting or linking to pirated books. There are plenty of "show off your writing" sites that you could post it to, or you could spend a few dollars for your own hosting.
    • by ClioCJS ( 264898 )
      Do you have a reading comprehension defect? This site is for books. Why can I go to a library and get a book, but not download one? I have to burn gas and kill trees to read for free?
      • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

        What backwater do you live in? Most libraries will let you borrow ebooks.

        • by ClioCJS ( 264898 )
          Inside the Washington, DC beltway. Why would I know libraries let you borrow ebooks? I've not stepped in one since I found out I could get the same content without leaving my house. Similar to a record store.
      • by Pionar ( 620916 )

        And what makes you think free access to books is a right?

        Freedom of speech doesn't include freedom to free (as in beer) access to someone's writings.

        • by ClioCJS ( 264898 )
          I refer you to the original comment I made, which you did not answer. If you can answer that question, then I will proceed to the next step of the discussion. Why can I go to a library and get a book, but not download one? (And actually, where I live, everyone does have a right to a library card, which gives them free access to books. And don't say the taxes pay it, because you don't have to be a taxpaying citizen to get a library card, just a citizen, period.)
        • You're absolutely correct on a legal level, no one can argue with that.

          However, I think a lot of us pose the question the opposite way: what makes you think government-backed enforcement of monopoly is a right? The only reason it's a legal right is because of accidents of history and law... Unless you're taking a Rick Santorum-style approach where you generally think that US law was handed down by God almighty.

          When you look beyond mere existing law and ask about fundamental human rights, there is a pretty h

    • actually, only because of copyright law of a particular country or group of countries can I not distribute someone else's work. what if the United States falls? what if the UK does? then there is no restriction whatsoever. You seem to think that a bunch of (corrupt, power and money grubbing) guys can write something on paper (a law), and it is some universal god-empowered scripture. news for you, this business of "copyright" and "piracy" is totally an artificial construct of some nations.
    • The logical conclusion of your premise, though, is that knowledge is a privilege.

      The media (scroll, book, eBook) doesn't matter; what does matter is whether or not those who cannot afford huge fees to read are allowed access to books - or not.

  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:05PM (#39060999)

    I borrowed a newspaper today. I didn't pay for it, but I still read it.
    Also, I have 3 books at home which aren't mine (borrowed, not stolen).

    Basically, that's at least 30 euro of lost revenue for the industry.

    Yet I don't feel guilty...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:07PM (#39061031)

      I borrowed a newspaper today. I didn't pay for it, but I still read it.
      Also, I have 3 books at home which aren't mine (borrowed, not stolen).

      Basically, that's at least 30 euro of lost revenue for the industry.

      Yet I don't feel guilty...

      30? More like 3 million. Thats how piracy works, haven't you been paying attention?

  • I cant help but wonder how much money the people behind ACTA/SOPA/PIPPA/MAFIAA are spending to get these sites taken down. Its got to cost some pretty big bucks to collaborate it all across nations and political boundaries. What's the payout for them?

  • Why is it that I never hear about these places until they close?
  • Bradbury was right on target.

    But the firemen don't need to burn paper books, they just need to wipe your kindle (of 1984, if I recall (in great irony)), close down the websites and prevent your iPad from accessing anything outside the walled garden.

    How long before Publishers and the RIAA are hunting down camps of vagrants, people who recite to others "I am The Grapes of Wrath" or "I am The Beatles" ?

    We are headed for some dark times. They didn't have to burn our books. Instead, they gave us electronic toys

  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:25PM (#39061389) Homepage

    This is just further proof that existing IP laws are sufficient and we don't NEED draconian measures like SOPA or ACTA to stop piracy.

    The laws are there. They can be enforced without censorship and stepping all over peoples' rights.

  • Overlapping circles of people who share books.

    The thing about forcing certain goods and services into the area outside the law is that if enough people want those goods and services, it becomes socially acceptable to ignore the law. This both weakens the law in general (and thus the fabric of a government of laws) while at the same time turning the law into a tool of oppression for those in power.

    It happened during prohibition. It happened during the war on drugs. And now it's going to happen in this war

  • Making up educated numbers here but you should be able to push a metric shit ton of traffic for 11 million annually.
    ~40k per month for an OC3 line 155Mbps.
    I'll give you a million for your storage solution.
    About 1.2mil for ~2000 or so CPU's and a terabyte of active memory worth of servers.
    Figure 100k a sysadmin. Would be a good idea to not have a admin to cpu ratio higher than 1:250 so that nearly a million there
    You need cooling and a place to house the servers. I'll give you another million.
    Oh netwo
  • Library gets a copy of a physical book (originally paid for by whoever bought it first) and loans it out as many times as it wants, forever.

    Electronic library gets a copy of an electronic book (originally paid for by whoever bought it first) and loans it out as many times as it wants, forever.

    In both situations, someone who really wants a paid-for copy for themselves can pay for it themselves; someone who really wants to just borrow one can borrow and return/delete it; someone who really just wants to s

    • Library gets a copy of a physical book (originally paid for by whoever bought it first) and loans it out as many times as it wants, forever.

      The physical book is not forever.

      Not with the kind of punishment it takes in a public library.

      That implies purchase of custom bindings or multiple copies of books in heavy circulation.

      • by ClioCJS ( 264898 )
        Digital files aren't forever either. (If they are, someone please send me those files I lost in the 90s.) That implies purchase of additional storage, or multiple backups of files in heavy circulation (I have my music on 3 harddrives because I lost it all before). Stuff that's posted on bittorrent often isn't available a few years later because nobody else is in there sharing it. Stuff goes away either way. But again, one burns trees and energy, and the other.... much less so.
    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      Electronic Library (like Overdrive) uses DRM to ensure that only one copy of a purchased book is available for use at any given time, making it analogous to the physical library.

      These sites seem like they were more like a library which would photocopy you a book anytime you wanted, not making you wait for the original purchased book to be returned first.

      I won't buy files with DRM, but I'm actually ok with using my library's Overdrive system since it's pretty much the digital equivalent of the usual library

      • by ClioCJS ( 264898 )
        I'm ok with it too, but there's nothing stopping anybody from photocopying a whole book from the library, so someone sufficiently motivated is going to do it either way. (Indeed, I got my father to do this for me several times - wasting federal taxpayer money, oil/gas, and trees.)

        Mankind has to accept that we're in an electronic age, and certain things are easier.

        We wouldn't accept having the police follow us into our own home to make sure we don't photocopy a book after lending it from the library; so

  • by Temujin_12 ( 832986 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:43PM (#39061711)

    If you copy media you purchased, you're smart.

    If you copy media you didn't purchase, you're cheap.

    If you copy media you didn't purchase AND you make a profit off of it, you're a thief.

    We do have to be careful that this doesn't turn into a slippery slope but, c'mon, making a profit off of other artists material which you don't have the rights to is just good old fashioned stealing no matter how you slice it.

  • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:44PM (#39061719)

    These were absolutely essential for my scientific work, because I'm living in a very poor country and (if at all) academic publishers only allow authors to put papers and book drafts on their web page that cannot be used for quoting.

    Now I'm really, really getting angry! As if Springer books priced at $150 or even $240 plus months of complicated ordering by the university to our library weren't already painful enough.

    Thanks a lot, all you IP-property assholes. Eat shit and die!!!

    (And yes, I have also published books including typesetting them in their entirety in LaTeX because the publisher was too lazy/saves costs/rips off academics. And no, I haven't seen a dime for any of this work...)

  • There is a big difference between file sharing sites that are making money off file sharing services used primarily to share copyrighted materials and other file sharing sites like box.com, Dropbox, Skyfile.co, DropIr and SugarSync. There is a place for file sharing sites and Affilate programs seem to be the key indicator of a legitimate business site or a pirate haven. All these legitimate file sharing sites have a good system for dealing with copyright content that ends up on their sites, the pirate site

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel