Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Websites Known for Book Piracy

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Along with an increased level of digital media and the digitalization and monetization of print has come an increased level of piracy and illegal sharing of copyrighted documents. This, in turn, has led to a number of issues in the E-book industry that affect authors, publishers, editors, and literary agents. The ease with which books can be digitized and shared has never been higher. Compounding this issue is the fact that most of the files are very small and can be shared easily.

There are a few websites well known for book piracy, though many of them host other pirated materials as well. These sites both illegally host book uploads and damage the economy of the publishing industry as a whole:

·       EbooksHeaven – Ebooks Heaven is a site primarily created and run for the sole purpose of sharing copyrighted books and digitized print material.

·       BitMe – BitMe is a private tracker (only accepting new members through either rare open signups or through an invitation from a current member) which specializes in torrents for textbooks and academic texts.

·       The Pirate Bay – Pirate Bay is one of the most well-known torrent sites. While they do not focus only on books like some other trackers do, Pirate Bay has an extremely large and extensive collection of fiction, non-fiction, and textbook torrents.

·       Kickass Torrents – Kickass Torrents is a search engine for torrents which catalogues torrent files hosted on other websites and condenses them into one location. They have an extensive book selection in their list of torrents.

·       4-Shared – 4-Shared is a website that hosts uploaded files. It is often used by pirates to host their uploaded E-books. Books are often hosted as PDFs or epub files. The site has been known to remove hosted content, but only if it has been flagged.

·       Scribd – Scribd is a large E-book repository. They operate as a legitimate business, but have an upload/download service that makes it extremely easy for pirates to share copyrighted material with very little to no consequence.

·       Textbook Nova – Textbook Nova is another torrent tracker providing torrents for textbooks and academic texts.

·       EbookShares – EbookShares is another private tracker hosting torrent files for books.

·       Bibliotik – Bibliotik is one of the premier E-book sharing sites on the Internet. It is, like many of the others, private. This one only shows a blank login page for non-members.

·       Demonoid – Demonoid is another torrent hosting site which features pirated movies, books, and music. They have an extensive section in which book torrents are shared. Though the site features a log-in and account section, anyone can download from the site.

Administrators of these websites often modify the ‘robots.txt’ file on their server to prevent search engines from cataloguing the items that are located there. This makes it very difficult for copyright holders to determine where their work is being shared. Though private trackers have less web traffic (and, thus, less users) than public trackers and other websites, there is nothing preventing a user who downloads a file from hosting that file on any other site. Any site that hosts torrents or offers easy upload capabilities is going to have its share of printed and copyrighted book material being shared; legally or illegally. This sharing cuts into profits and damages the integrity of the work being done by authors and other members of the publishing chain.