News

International publisher alliance shuts down piracy site

An international alliance of publishers, including Cambridge University Press, Elsevier and Pearson Education Ltd, has served successful cease-and-desist orders on a piracy operation with an estimated turnover of £7m.

The two platforms, sharehoster service www.ifile.it and link library www.library.nu, had together created an "internet library" making more than 400,000 e-books available as free illegal downloads. The operators generated an estimated turnover of €8m (£6.7m) through advertising, donations and sales of premium-level accounts, according to a report by German law firm Lausen which helped co-ordinate the alliance.

The other publishers involved also comprised Georg Thieme; HarperCollins; Hogrefe; Macmillan Publishers Ltd; Cengage Learning; John Wiley & Sons;the McGraw-Hill Companies; Pearson Education Inc; Oxford University Press; Springer; Taylor & Francis; C H Beck; and Walter De Gruyter. The alliance was also co-ordinated by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein) and the International Publishers Association (IPA),

Jens Bammel, secretary general of the IPA, said: "Today, the international book industry has shown that it continues to stand up against organised copyright crime.

"We will not tolerate freeloaders who make unjustified profits by depriving authors and publishers of their due reward. This is an important step towards a more transparent, honest and fair trade of digital content on the Internet," he said.

Alexander Skipis, Börsenverein c.e.o., added: "This case demonstrates, in particular in the context of current debates, that systematic copyright infringement has developed into a highly criminal and lucrative business."

 

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This only underlines the fact that we don't need any new laws to deal with pirate sites. Now we just need to offer some kind of direct competition.

Speaking of competition, it's interesting that they've chosen to redirect library.nu to Google Books...

I wonder when the industry will begin to focus on the real source of the issue ... which is how easy it is to crack Adobe DRM.

It's irrelevant. All DRM on ebooks is relatively easy to crack; it can't be made more difficult than it already is.

It's interesting that there isn't currently an easy solution for cracking iBooks DRM, but I guess that's just because of iBooks' market share.

Just like music record companies and tv/movie studios, publishers are just going to have to deal with piracy because once one site shuts down, 10 more will pop up (more anonymously and difficult to track) and that's just the way it works. That's what the majority wants, so the majority will always win in the end because putting a price tag on media is unethical. So shut the F up and take it. Besides all you pencil-pushers who want to make a buck over any old crap you produce (because adding 50 cent words and run-on sentences, then calling your crap study scholarly is like putting icing on a pile of dung, it's still dung) should get a real job if that's what you want. Try getting your soft little hands dirty for a change.

This is a brief and gaudy victory that the industry has won, and for now your age-old privileges are intact. You can continue to appropriate value from the masses, by fiat, with the brute force of the state at your disposal. (Who are the real "pirates" here, one wonders?)

But inevitably, the people are going to win this war. There are too many dedicated, talented and hardworking individuals out there, breaking your DRM, hacking your devices, uploading, hosting and distributing, for you to ever prevail. You - that is, your engineers and your security experts - are fighting for a paycheck. We're fighting for our freedom. Have fun in the dustbin of history, publishers...

All DRM mechanisms have been cracked.

It is simply NOT POSSIBLE to create one that will allow the honest buyer to read his/her book without hassles. Period.

The only solution known to deter casual piracy is watermarking.

Many publishers have read the writing on the wall.

Time for others to follow suit.

real pirates are inside the publishers.publishers dont know who are they playing with,in modern world free information is what real netizens breathing,if publishers cant provide that ,stay out of the internet world and keep selling the hardcopies nd paperbacks.we are not against copyrights,but against the f*in greedy,prejudiced,publishers who charge monstous fees from innocent customers even if they are available freely.a big salute to library.nu.

Look, I'm totally with you on the 'enforcement is largely futile' argument. But I don't know how you expect people who write ebooks to get paid in your brave new world.

If I write a book and publish it as an ebook, I'm not 'appropriating value from the masses.' My creative labour isn't nationalised, and it isn't morally yours to do with as you please just because you can.

The same applies to publishers. Whatever you may think, we add value to books, and we deserve to be able to make a living out of it.

Mmmm....you can tell that a couple of people who replied above stating the 'tough shit principle' have not spent a few dedicated years writing a book. Sure, publishers have had it their all way but it was bookshops who made the profits in the old days, not most publishers.
How do you think I would feel when I release a book I've spent a few years writing, put a really good price on it (for the customer) then see loads of people getting it for nothing?
What work do the people above do? And would they like it if someone came along and took things from them for nothing. I imagine their attitude would change then...

The prospect of having to deal with unauthorised downloads is something that the publishing industry is going to have to face. I would hope, though, that it can do a much better job of it than the music and movie industries.

Here's an article I wrote on that a few weeks ago:P

http://mark.goodge.co.uk/2012/01/competing-with-free-the-challenge-for-p...

This is an issue of reasons. Why do you publish books, publishers? To make money? Or to disseminate knowledge, artistic value, etc?
The closing of library.nu just speaks to your commitment to making a buck. That's what took priority here.
If you'd be commited to the spreading of knowledge and culture,pirates wouldn't bother you. Most people that pirate books like this do it because they can't - or simply won't - pay for them. I can only hope you're smart enough to realize that you were not losing money. The vast majority of the people who pirated books from library.nu won't buy your books now that it's closed. All you've done with this brute force enforcement is deprive people of knowledge. If no site like that ever rises again, you've just condemned a whole lot of people to live in ignorance of the knowledge that you should be commited to spread as much as possible.
This is just shameful, and speaks for the absurd level of marketization of everthing. Putting money before widespread knowledge - even when it's money you know you wouldn't have earned anyway - should be the crime here.

So people who spend years crafting a book, should do so for free?
you can gets books for free...it's called the library, perhaps if more people used them they would still be open.

For the record, library.nu is not completely shut down. People with high-status accounts are still able to log in and are likely still able to access content.

If pirates make so much money, why aren't the publishers copying them?

So, what's bad about online libraries to which people around the whole world will be able to have an acces?
Personally I feel that this law is one more stone for building inequality in global dimension. How should I produce a high standard intellectual work if I don't have an acces to materials?

Anonymous22...have you considered producing high standard intellectual product by exercising some high standard intellectualism? Ever thought, perhaps, of going to a library, buying second hand copies on Amazon or eBay, borrowing books and articles from your high-standard intellectual colleagues, having some original work of your own not based on that of other people? Thought of nipping into the local college/uni library, or saving a few bucks every month to actually go into a bookstore, real or online, and buying some ****ing books? After you've thought this over, why not list for us the grocery stores where you get free food, the gas stations you get free petrol from. Free clothes from GAP? Free shoes? Free fags? No - you just want people better educated and better placed to be published legitimately to provide you with the fruits of their hard labour for free. Because you are worth it. Lond live the l'Oreal Generation of intellectuals eh?

Mr Obvious - who was that strange little paragraph aimed at?

I would happily go to the library (university or any other) or bookstore where I could have an access to up to date literature in English in country that is not english speaking on topic which is poorly studied in my country and on my language. Or I would buy on Amazon if my living allowance from University wasn't less than 100 bucks per month.
The work of the writers and publishers should be paid - no doubts. But may be it's time to work out other solutions apart from prohibiting laws?

Anonymous 22 - I sympathise, but you really can't get stuff for nothing. It just doesn't work in other industries where the people who produce the product earn a living from their labours. You have to have prohibiting laws I think, because what they prohibit is theft. There is a whole industry of co-publishing and royalty based publishing whereby local publishers can publish books locally at an affordable price - or at least more affordable - than the imported UK/AS edition. In english or in their own language. If you can't get the books you want in English in your country there's obviosuly a gap in the market. Join the game - why don't you think of getting involved in getting those books into your country at local prices. Be a publisher yourself - it's a great industry, where we don't need theft to be justified.

Hehe
They won(?) the battle but lost the war. All files are in the net.

This only underlines the fact that we don't need any new laws to deal with pirate sites. Now we just need to offer some kind of direct competition.

Speaking of competition, it's interesting that they've chosen to redirect library.nu to Google Books...

I wonder when the industry will begin to focus on the real source of the issue ... which is how easy it is to crack Adobe DRM.

It's irrelevant. All DRM on ebooks is relatively easy to crack; it can't be made more difficult than it already is.

It's interesting that there isn't currently an easy solution for cracking iBooks DRM, but I guess that's just because of iBooks' market share.

Just like music record companies and tv/movie studios, publishers are just going to have to deal with piracy because once one site shuts down, 10 more will pop up (more anonymously and difficult to track) and that's just the way it works. That's what the majority wants, so the majority will always win in the end because putting a price tag on media is unethical. So shut the F up and take it. Besides all you pencil-pushers who want to make a buck over any old crap you produce (because adding 50 cent words and run-on sentences, then calling your crap study scholarly is like putting icing on a pile of dung, it's still dung) should get a real job if that's what you want. Try getting your soft little hands dirty for a change.

So people who spend years crafting a book, should do so for free?
you can gets books for free...it's called the library, perhaps if more people used them they would still be open.

And what's the difference between the Internet and a library?

loading... loading... loading...

oh, holy, there's no such difference! as it is IRL, the library buys one copy of the book and then it lends that copy to a lot of people without charging them a buck. in this case, to scan a book you have to buy it first, and then what you just do is to lend it to everyone who wants to read it and can't or won't pay the price TODAY, but maybe he or she will pay it in the future in a similar item (say, another book title). so, the argument about the "library" is a little absurd, because internet is, in itself, a library. the biggest library ever imagined by men.

So because you want to be able to obtain my creative output for free, that makes it okay to steal it? Your disdain for authors is evident in your reference to "pencil pushers." Have you ever written something that was commercially viable?

When a large piracy operation is shut down, it is not replaced by 10 more. Large scale piracy takes time to plan, build and inventory. The closure of a large piracy site chills piracy and sends a message that it cannot be engaged in with impunity.

This is a brief and gaudy victory that the industry has won, and for now your age-old privileges are intact. You can continue to appropriate value from the masses, by fiat, with the brute force of the state at your disposal. (Who are the real "pirates" here, one wonders?)

But inevitably, the people are going to win this war. There are too many dedicated, talented and hardworking individuals out there, breaking your DRM, hacking your devices, uploading, hosting and distributing, for you to ever prevail. You - that is, your engineers and your security experts - are fighting for a paycheck. We're fighting for our freedom. Have fun in the dustbin of history, publishers...

Look, I'm totally with you on the 'enforcement is largely futile' argument. But I don't know how you expect people who write ebooks to get paid in your brave new world.

If I write a book and publish it as an ebook, I'm not 'appropriating value from the masses.' My creative labour isn't nationalised, and it isn't morally yours to do with as you please just because you can.

The same applies to publishers. Whatever you may think, we add value to books, and we deserve to be able to make a living out of it.

"We're fighting for our freedom". Oh, how noble it sounds. You're only fighting for your freedom...to have free stuff. Why not just steal from Waterstones? It's the same thing.

"We're fighting for our freedom". Oh, how noble you make it sound. Yes, you're fighting for your freedom...to have free stuff. Why not just steal books from Waterstones? Theft is theft.

All DRM mechanisms have been cracked.

It is simply NOT POSSIBLE to create one that will allow the honest buyer to read his/her book without hassles. Period.

The only solution known to deter casual piracy is watermarking.

Many publishers have read the writing on the wall.

Time for others to follow suit.

real pirates are inside the publishers.publishers dont know who are they playing with,in modern world free information is what real netizens breathing,if publishers cant provide that ,stay out of the internet world and keep selling the hardcopies nd paperbacks.we are not against copyrights,but against the f*in greedy,prejudiced,publishers who charge monstous fees from innocent customers even if they are available freely.a big salute to library.nu.

Mmmm....you can tell that a couple of people who replied above stating the 'tough shit principle' have not spent a few dedicated years writing a book. Sure, publishers have had it their all way but it was bookshops who made the profits in the old days, not most publishers.
How do you think I would feel when I release a book I've spent a few years writing, put a really good price on it (for the customer) then see loads of people getting it for nothing?
What work do the people above do? And would they like it if someone came along and took things from them for nothing. I imagine their attitude would change then...

The prospect of having to deal with unauthorised downloads is something that the publishing industry is going to have to face. I would hope, though, that it can do a much better job of it than the music and movie industries.

Here's an article I wrote on that a few weeks ago:P

http://mark.goodge.co.uk/2012/01/competing-with-free-the-challenge-for-p...

This is an issue of reasons. Why do you publish books, publishers? To make money? Or to disseminate knowledge, artistic value, etc?
The closing of library.nu just speaks to your commitment to making a buck. That's what took priority here.
If you'd be commited to the spreading of knowledge and culture,pirates wouldn't bother you. Most people that pirate books like this do it because they can't - or simply won't - pay for them. I can only hope you're smart enough to realize that you were not losing money. The vast majority of the people who pirated books from library.nu won't buy your books now that it's closed. All you've done with this brute force enforcement is deprive people of knowledge. If no site like that ever rises again, you've just condemned a whole lot of people to live in ignorance of the knowledge that you should be commited to spread as much as possible.
This is just shameful, and speaks for the absurd level of marketization of everthing. Putting money before widespread knowledge - even when it's money you know you wouldn't have earned anyway - should be the crime here.

This is the single most ignorant post I have ever seen on here. And that's quite a feat. So, all books should basically be free? Whether you like it or not, publishing is a business. The fact that there are people out there who think that authors and publishers should spend their time and resources making books without getting paid for it is quite staggering.

If you think publishing should effectively become a charitable concern, then please be my guest and find the thousands of people who have the required resources and experience (and who can afford to hand their lives over to working for free), to set up this grand scheme. Oh, and you need to find all the authors out there who are not interested in any kind of financial recompense for their labours. Because believe me, authors also want to make a bit of money out of this. There are a handful who just want to "disseminate knowledge", but in my experience they are in a very small minority. Good luck.

Those of you expressing this idea that this represents a war between "the people" and a great capitalist behemoth: I'm sure you resent paying for other things that should, by your reckoning, be distributed for "the common good" - you know, things like food and housing. This despicable "take, take, take" mindset is the real shameful thing on display here.

To clarify, my post was directed at omfgzell.

Food and housing is not a good comparison. Try medicine. Advances in medicine mean people no longer have to suffer dreadful diseases, and can now reach their potential and give back to make good the massive reources invested in getting them from infant to whatever stage in their lives they may previously have succumbed. But only if they are rich enough to afford this medicine. 'Intellectual property' loses its gloss when it becomes apparent this withholding of resources means the continuation of misery for our fellow man. There is no difference when it comes to books. How many people who never had access to these books in any other way other than via a source like Library.nu are now stymied? Fiction writers can have their royalties, because their work would be original and entirely their own, but, as someone said in an earlier post, all scientific research has been built on the work of others.

But who cares, we can afford these books, and we have libraries so good one, American Association of Publishers (or whoever you are) you did the oppressed a shot in the eye. Capitalism rules, OK.

This is by far the most relevant post on here. I definitely can't afford to buy many books and if I can't get them at my local library or download them online then am I just suppose to live in ignorance of all the knowledge that is out there? Just because I can't download these books now does not mean that I am going to go out and buy them, I just can't afford it

For the record, library.nu is not completely shut down. People with high-status accounts are still able to log in and are likely still able to access content.

If pirates make so much money, why aren't the publishers copying them?

So, what's bad about online libraries to which people around the whole world will be able to have an acces?
Personally I feel that this law is one more stone for building inequality in global dimension. How should I produce a high standard intellectual work if I don't have an acces to materials?

Anonymous22...have you considered producing high standard intellectual product by exercising some high standard intellectualism? Ever thought, perhaps, of going to a library, buying second hand copies on Amazon or eBay, borrowing books and articles from your high-standard intellectual colleagues, having some original work of your own not based on that of other people? Thought of nipping into the local college/uni library, or saving a few bucks every month to actually go into a bookstore, real or online, and buying some ****ing books? After you've thought this over, why not list for us the grocery stores where you get free food, the gas stations you get free petrol from. Free clothes from GAP? Free shoes? Free fags? No - you just want people better educated and better placed to be published legitimately to provide you with the fruits of their hard labour for free. Because you are worth it. Lond live the l'Oreal Generation of intellectuals eh?

I would happily go to the library (university or any other) or bookstore where I could have an access to up to date literature in English in country that is not english speaking on topic which is poorly studied in my country and on my language. Or I would buy on Amazon if my living allowance from University wasn't less than 100 bucks per month.
The work of the writers and publishers should be paid - no doubts. But may be it's time to work out other solutions apart from prohibiting laws?

People use gigapedia to TRY books and then if they are good, they will BUY them. Paolo Coelho, the well-known writer, explains that the sales for his books increased BECAUSE his books were pirated.

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/01/20/welcome-to-pirate-my-books/

Mr Obvious - who was that strange little paragraph aimed at?

Anonymous 22 - I sympathise, but you really can't get stuff for nothing. It just doesn't work in other industries where the people who produce the product earn a living from their labours. You have to have prohibiting laws I think, because what they prohibit is theft. There is a whole industry of co-publishing and royalty based publishing whereby local publishers can publish books locally at an affordable price - or at least more affordable - than the imported UK/AS edition. In english or in their own language. If you can't get the books you want in English in your country there's obviosuly a gap in the market. Join the game - why don't you think of getting involved in getting those books into your country at local prices. Be a publisher yourself - it's a great industry, where we don't need theft to be justified.

Hehe
They won(?) the battle but lost the war. All files are in the net.

Comrades! How would you like people to be paid for writing books?

Sure, copying a book is just like stealing. When the US was signed it was enforceable for at *most* 14 years. Thanks to Disney, it's now up to 70 years after the death of the copyright holder. Everything in the modern age is faster, except copyright, which has fossilized into a feudal rigor mortis. Anything created prior to 1998 should be in the public domain. It would be if it weren't for an army of corrupt lawyers and a cartoon mouse.

I couldn't agree with you more. Well said.

I wanted to answer Berber.

E.g.my friend prepared a camera-ready copy for Lang. He had means to do this. We - contributors - didn't earn a penny, still the book is very expensive. All the publisher had to do was to print it. No proofreading.

So you are welcome to download it if you come across it. :) I can say this as a contributor. :)

some people just don't get capitalism do they?

publishing is theft

The BookSELLER.

Clue's in the name people. Publishing is an industry, not a charity.

So,Omfgzell, "Most people that pirate books like this do it because they can't - or simply won't - pay for them." Well, isn't that the argument that has always applied to shoplifters, burglars, muggers - hey - people who steal things? You sound as if you admire them for it. And just like thieves, these pirates go on to sell their ill-gotten gains to anyone who will not ask too many questions before they buy - such as 'where did you get this?'
You might argue about nil loss, but for every copy pirated or sold illegally, there is nil gain for the person who spent months or years creating it, and those online or bricks and mortar businesses that make up the fabric of society and well... pay people a wage to work in them. Theft is theft. To accept that people should have access to anything they like for FREE simply because it's giving them 'knowledge', may sound noble. But it's also bloody silly. If people think something is free, over time they will value it less.

I recently finished a PhD and it is evident that many research students do download books from such sites as part of their research. While depriving an author of potential sales is a serious issue, for the majority of research students I spoke to about this, they would not have bought the books; they would have simply made do withouth them. Moreover, where a dowloaded book turns out to be really useful most actually go and buy a hard copy as they still prefer underlining, writing notes and carring the book around with them. So there is an argument to say that not only are authhors of academic books not being deprived of potential sales by such sites, but are actually gaining sales that they otherwise woud not have had. So in terms of academic publishing, I think the argument that dowloading a book necessarily harms authors needs to be rethought.

I accept that this is only anecdotal evidence, but in the past 5 years this has been the common story. Having spoken to other friends and colleagues at different universities, in various countries, a similar expereince is reported.

I think it would be interesting to see if there has actually been any research done, specifically on academic books, to substatiate the claims about the damage these cause to authors.

I liked gigapedia/Library.nu, but it's obvious they were making a killing out of other people's work. The arrogant administrator of that site "Smiley" needed taking down a peg or two, so in that regard it's hilarious.

The biggest mistake the publishing/music/film/games industries ever made was calling them "Pirates". Pirates are cool. You can rape and pillage all you like but as long as you say Arhhhhggg at the beginning of every sentence you're ok. Instead of plowing money into pointless DRM let's start a thinktank to come up with a new name. How about Dataphile? Nice connotations.
The media is full examples of how the rich and famous are doing very well thankyou very much off of Books (maybe not so much, but it's all part of the same world in most peoples eyes), Film and music. You're going to have a tough time fighting the "industry will go broke" corner, rightly or wrongly. You want you're nice little extra digital revenues, the price, i'm afraid, is it will be copied. It's a socially acceptable crime, like speeding, or tax evasion(?!?!) or bribing Sudanese governments.
For the record, i'll never be a dataphile because i'll never own an ebook reader.

Why if we can download youtube for free but we have to pay for books?

It just doesn't make sense since books available in library.nu mostly are education and research books which have purposes to improve their reader's knowledge.

So for now we can just download youtube for free, seeing unimportant artist like justin bieber for free but we have to pay for education books.

Nice try

The real loser in this entire big fat squabble is 'the dissemination of knowledge and enlightenment'. I speak so out of experience. Gigapedia was 'the Starbucks of libraries' where scholars had a great time hanging out and of course 'gaining knowledge'. Lets put this issue in perspective and lets ask ourselves a few simple questions - "Did any of the publishing houses which sued Gigapedia actually stop registering heavy profits whilst Gigapedia was in operation?". "How valid is the claim that author XYZ and pub house ABC will gain profits by forcing a commoner to but book PQR when it is common place knowledge that a commoner will rather spend more time in the library than overshoot his monthly budget by opting for books?". What this silly injunction has served to do is that it has ensured that the lives of readers and scholars become many times harder. Whats more appalling is that some readers actually may get distanced from books and gradually lose their touch and creativity. Wasn't the message of Gigapedia loud and simple-"Lets make the access of quality knowledge a little bit easier for everyone". How can that noble message be wrong? How different are the actions of the publishing houses from those of the vandalizing invaders who went around pilfering and obliterating libraries in the lands that they invaded? The world has been robbed of a treasure in the form of Gigapedia.

The real loser in this entire big fat squabble is 'the dissemination of knowledge and enlightenment'. I speak so out of experience. Gigapedia was 'the Starbucks of libraries' where scholars had a great time hanging out and of course 'gaining knowledge'. Lets put this issue in perspective and lets ask ourselves a few simple questions - "Did any of the publishing houses which sued Gigapedia actually stop registering heavy profits whilst Gigapedia was in operation?". "How valid is the claim that author XYZ and pub house ABC will gain profits by forcing a commoner to but book PQR when it is common place knowledge that a commoner will rather spend more time in the library than overshoot his monthly budget by opting for books?". What this silly injunction has served to do is that it has ensured that the lives of readers and scholars become many times harder. Whats more appalling is that some readers actually may get distanced from books and gradually lose their touch and creativity. Wasn't the message of Gigapedia loud and simple-"Lets make the access of quality knowledge a little bit easier for everyone". How can that noble message be wrong? How different are the actions of the publishing houses from those of the vandalizing invaders who went around pilfering and obliterating libraries in the lands that they invaded? The world has been robbed of a treasure in the form of Gigapedia.

Completely disingenuous argument. It's great that Gigapedia wanted to make knowledge available to all, but you can't just set up a venture (which is what they did) with other people's wares! If Smiley and crew were on such a heartfelt crusade to bring knowledge to the masses why not set up a real channel proving that publishers could legitimately reach more people by lowering prices. Or perhaps offset some of those advertisement and donation earnings to making deals with publishers?

Or maybe just admit that it was a bog-standard link sharing site in cahoots with ifile.it. It's time to stop hiding behind the sham of 'freedom'. If it's file sharing, just call a spade a spade. We all know academic books are sold for rip-off prices, but a file sharing site as large as Gigapedia is only ever going to be a temporary bonanza until it gets shut down. Is Smiley now planning to make an issue of the cost of books and rapacity of publishers, or is he just going to lament losing ad revenue?

The sheer stupidity of some of these comments is breathtaking.

'How different are the actions of the publishing houses from those of the vandalizing invaders who went around pilfering and obliterating libraries in the lands that they invaded?' Are you being deliberately obtuse? These 'vandalizing invaders' build these libraries in the first place and filled them with books.

The 'pilfering' going on here is committed by people who think that it's acceptable to make a profit from the sweat on somebody else's brow. Don't you idiots get it? It's only because of writers and publishers that quality books exist at all.

That's what happens when you don't use Gigapedia. When you don't use gigapedia, you don't get access to thesauri and you end up with illogical comments, the word 'vandals' was intended for "the publishers" who brought Gigapedia down. But you can be excused since you didn't have access to a thesaurus; else you would have known perfectly well that the word "vandal" is intended for people who destroy and not for those who build.
Secondly "no one gets to lose sweat from his brow" when all parties indulge in constructive mutual profiting- readers, book sellers and authors. Can you name one author who went bankrupt because of Gigapedia? Worse still, can you name one failed author who would have become a hit with readers if Gigapedia had not activated its operations? But you ought to be forgiven here also as you are probably unfamiliar with the word "pilfering".
Thirdly, your lack of proper education is evident from the fact that you go around discussion forums randomly calling people names ('idiots') - an obvious pointer to the fact that you have never ever taken the pains to visit a scholarly site like Gigapedia. But this puts forth one perplexing question - "Why did you at all choose to come visit a discussion forum for knowledgeable people at all?"

**Kings of finance" denied him recognition And "railway magnates" jeered his low condition. He robbed a bank to make himself respected. They still rebuffed him, for he was detected.**

I really feel ashamed about downloading books that are effectively stolen, however one or two I have downloaded I subsequently did buy - as I like proper books (old-timer). Where I will miss gigapedia is for the really specialist academic books. These books tend to be VERY expensive, running into 100s of £/$ and way out of my reach.

Surely there is a model for publishers here to reduce the cost of these books to more affordable levels by both widening their appeal and also making money from advertising etc., as did gigapedia. Money that could be ploughed back into the authors and publishers.

If these books remain so expensive (and illusive) then it will be a shame for amateur scientists like myself.

Mesti. This is all about choice. The thing with YouTube is that people CHOOSE to put out information, broadcasts and songs for free , in the certain knowledge that it will be used without payment. That's fine - it's their choice. But having someone pirate published work without permission, then sell it on, is completely different.
It's all about that old-fashioned concept of property... where it used to be a bad thing to take what wasn't yours. Now, it seems, some people want to hide behind the concept of 'knowledge sharing' as a blatant excuse and even an admiration for what is, quite simply, theft.

Adrian, even though some people may as you write "hide behind the concept of 'knowledge sharing", it is till a must do for scholars and lecturers to be acquanted with what is done in their field of research or teaching and share their own results in order to discuss them. Or how otherwise they would be able to produce something new, solve practical problems, teach courses and so on? Science (social or technical) is under the influence of globalizing processes, scientific and academic work IS really about SHARING and we can't just turn it back (and I don't want to live behind "iron curtains" once again actually, whether it is because of political views or money). From my experience in academic world it is mostly about the property of ideas (not stealing ideas, making refernces) than about making money. Especially if we take into consideration such practicies as, for example, citation index (the more your books are read and cited the better it's for an author). I don't know how it is worldwide, but in some universities authors are paid for their publications by their universities during several years each month according to the status of the published work, and they are also payed extra money if they have citation index.
So, I am not so sure that this law (concerning science) and precisely shutting online scholarly libraries is profitable in both senses - money and reputation - for scholars themselves. I wonder whether they were even asked about it? I met scientists from different "camps".
Anyway we have such systems as jstor and other similar that are at least paid by some universities and organizations in order to give staff an access to articles from journals. But why not books? Indeed why publishers do not try to use similar methods as those "Pirates" if it brings such huge amount of money?

a comment by an 'author' in favor of a non-profit open access innitiative. It is important to differentiate between academic authors and literary authors, between ango-saxon and non-anglosaxon authors and between authors working in a supportive institutional context and authors who have to survive on their own. I can only speak as a non-anglosaxon academic author working in a pretty generous instutional context having an experience with an Anglo-saxon publishing house.
Now I was honestly quite shocked and even a little ashamed when I found out what price they are asking for my book (around 110 dollar): shocked because it means that nearly nobody except for (some) libraries can afford it, and ashamed because it felt I should have written a book at least five times as long for that price.
This made me think what the real costs of a book actually are but most importantly who pays what share them. Now there is no doubt that costs are very high: e.g. I have been working about five years on it, it had to be edited, printed and indeed some (minimal) promotion costs have been made. You can guess that the greatest costs, by far, were in the five years of paid labor. However, in my case, as it is very often the case, this wage was paid by my university, and indirectly by the taxpayer. Seen from this perspective one can ask who exactly deserves a "due reward" and to what extent: publishers, authors or rather the university/tax payer? Now I certainly do not want to say that there generally should be no due reward for publishers, but I am quite convinced that this 'due reward' should be rather minimal in the case of an academic publishing industry that 'feeds' indirectly, or as is also very often the case, directly (through a system of payed publications; yes, indeed, I mean by the author or his/her institution) on huge public investments and risk-taking. A similar reasoning counts for authors: their 'due reward' for sure, but not at the expense of broader community which also deserves its due 'return on investment': freely accessible knowledge.