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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book Download Portal Taken Down

Library.nu, a real knowledge “Mecca” for millions of Internet users, was taken offline under the copyright protection shield. This event made industry observers to take an extensive view on the file-sharing phenomenon.

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Nishant Shah has recently published an article to discuss the effect anti-piracy legislation can have on the frivolous organism of the web. It was the story about the shut-down of Library.nu, a real “Mecca” for people thriving on reading books. This non-commercial online service used to allow people download digital copies of books without adverts or anything else to people who need it.

Indeed, for students across the globe, Library.nu was the place to find books that would otherwise be unavailable in their local shops. However, the website is now closed with an R.I.P. sign on the main page. In fact, this chain of events has started long ago with Napster, and continued to the present day with the pertinacious efforts of closing down the world’s biggest public torrent tracker The Pirate Bay.

The problem is that such terms as intellectual property and copyright violation are sometimes too distorted by some circles, which makes the piracy problem seem more complicated than it really is. For example, Nishant believes that the act of sharing is at the very core of a digital network like Facebook or Twitter, i.e., social network medias working on interaction between users, who share things between each other. In other words, the networks occupied by the users are virtually living organisms, which are sustained with the ability of the members to act within them. Meanwhile, the act of sharing includes various activities: the users can share information about their personal life, relationships, activities, political views, and so on. In addition, people tend to share books that they have read, music and films that made them laugh. As Nishant Shah rightly pointed out, back in the 90’s the musicians used to make money from live performances, not from the albums, because music brings people together.

The Swedish Pirate Party even declared file-sharing a religion, and Nishant Shah seems to share their views. Although many people try to stay away from such words as “religion”, they can’t deny that this has a point. Sharing is a natural thing people do, and the worldwide web is an open “market” for everyone, so why would we change it?

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