library genesis in Mars & Medak 2019


digital texts and collections, published a letter
article | 345

ephemera: theory & politics in organization


(Custodians.online, 2015) in support of two of the largest user-created
repositories of pirated textbooks and articles on the Internet – Library Genesis
and Science Hub. Library Genesis and Science Hub’s web domain names were
taken down after a New York court issued an injunction following a copyright
infringement suit filed by the largest commercial academic publisher in the
world – Reed Elsevier. It is a familiar trajectory th


education seems … to be self-evident’ (Baty, 2017).
Uneven economic development reinforces global uneven development in higher
education and science – and vice versa. It is in the face of this combined
economic and educational unevenness, that Library Genesis and Science Hub,
two repositories for a decommodified access to otherwise paywalled resources,
attain a particular import for students, academics and researchers worldwide.
And it is in the face of combined economic and educational unevenness, that
Library Genesis and Science Hub continue to brave the court decisions,
continuously changing their domain names, securing ways of access beyond the
World Wide Web and ensuring robust redundancy of the materials in their
repositories.
The Custodians.online letter hig


ese economies are largely based on selling cheap low-skilled
labor. So, their public funders leave them in their underfunded torpor to
improvise their way through education and research processes. It is these
institutions that depend the most on the Library Genesis and Science Hubs of
this world. If we look at the download data of Library Genesis, as has Balasz Bodó
(2015), we can discern a clear pattern that the users in the rich economies use
these shadow libraries to find publications that are not available in the digital
form or are pay-walled, while the users in the developing economies


nchester: Manchester University
Press.
Collini, S. (2017) Speaking of universities. London: Verso.
Critchley, S. (2007) Infinitely demanding: Ethics of commitment, politics of
resistance. London: Verso.
Custodians.online (2015) ‘In solidarity with Library Genesis and Sci-Hub’. [http:/
/custodians.online]
Custodians.online
.online/ubu]

(2016)

‘Happy

birthday,

Ubu.com’.

[http://custodians

Dolenec, D. (2016) ‘The implausible knowledge triangle of the Western Balkans’,
in S. Gupta, J. Habjan and H


library genesis in Sollfrank 2018


is project
was famous for hosting approximately 400,000 (scientific) books and journal
articles but had to be shut down in 2012 as a consequence of a series of
injunctions from powerful publishing houses. The now leading shadow library in
the field, Library Genesis (LibGen), can be considered as its even more
influential successor. As of November 2016 the database contained 25 million
documents (42 terabytes), of which 2.1 million were books, with digital copies
of scientific articles published in 27,134 journ


his discrepancy between a state mandate for cultural preservation and
copyright law has only been fixed in 2018 with the introduction of a special
law, §16a DNBG.
15 Steinhauer, “Rechtspflicht zur Amnesie”.
16 Bodo Balazs, “The Genesis of Library Genesis: The Birth of a Global
Scholarly Shadow Library,” Nov. 4, 2014, _SSRN_ ,
, (accessed on
Sept. 30, 2018).
17 Motto of Sci-Hub: “Sci-Hub,” _Wikipedia_ ,


heory of Intellectual Property, CREATe,
University of Glasgow, UK, July 6–8, 2016. Online available at: https
://adrien-chopin.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/7/6/21765614/2016_bodo_-_pirates.pdf
(accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
24 Balazs, “The Genesis of Library Genesis”.
25 Aaron Swartz, “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto,” _Internet Archive_ , July
2008,

(accessed on Sept. 30, 2018).
26 Balazs, “Pirates in the library”.
27

 

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