file sharing in Adema 2009


erested in
open access accessibility needs to be your top priority. I can read German,
but many of my friends (and most of the world) can't. It take a little effort
to just fix this, but you can do it.



legitim intellektuellen Inhalt zu "besitzen"? Oder
__Eigentümer davon zu sein?_ _S: Es ist *unmöglich*. "Geistiges" Irgendwas
verbreitet sich immer weiter. Reemtsmas Vorfahren wären nie von den Bäumen
runtergekommen oder aus dem Morast rausgekrochen, wenn sich "geistiges"
Irgendwas nicht verbreitet hätte.”_

![646px-
Book_scanner_svg.jpg](https://openreflections.files.wordpress.com/2009/09
/646px-book_scanner_svg-jpg1.png?w=547)

What seems to be increasingly obvious, as the interview also states, is that
one can find virtually all Ebooks and texts one needs via p2p networks and
other file sharing community’s (the true
[Darknet](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darknet_\(file_sharing\)) in a way) –
more and more people are offering (and asking for!) selections of texts and
books (including the ones by Adorno) on openly available websites and blogs,
or they are scanning them and offering them for (educational) use on their
domains. Although the Internet is mostly known for the pirating and
dissemination of pirated movies and music, copyright protected textual content
has (of course) always been spread too. But with the rise of ‘born digital’
text content, and with the help of massive


online.blogspot.com/2009/02
/keeping-ten-commandments.html) (a lot of history and bible study), [Museum of
accidents](http://museumofaccidents.blogspot.com/) (many resources relating to
again, critical theory, political theory and continental philhosophy) and
[Makeworlds](http://makeworlds.net/) (initiated from the [make world
festival](http://www.makeworlds.org/1/index.html) 2001).
[Mariborchan](http://mariborchan.wordpress.com/) is mainly a Zizek resource
site (also Badiou and Lacan) and offers next to ebooks also video and audio
(lectures and documentaries) and text files, all via links to file sharing
platforms.

What is clear is that the text sharing network described above (I am sure
there are many more related to other fields and subjects) is also formed and
maintained by the fact that the blogs and resource sites link to each other in
their blog rolls, which is what in the end makes up the network of text
sharing, only enhanced by RSS feeds and Twitter accounts, holding together
direct communication streams with the rest of the community. That there has
not been one major platform or aggregation site linking them together and
uploading all the texts is logical if we take into account th


file sharing in Bodo 2014


te 2000’s.
Kolhoz, however, suffered from the same problems as the early Fidonet-based text collections. Since it
was distributed in DVDs, via ftp servers and on torrents, it was hard to search, it lacked a proper catalog
and it was prone to fragmentation. Parallel solutions soon emerged: around 2006-7, an existing book site
called Gigapedia copied the English books from Kolhoz, set up a catalog, and soon became the most
influential pirate library in the English speaking internet.
Similar cataloguing efforts soon emerged elsewhere. In 2007, someone on rutracker.ru, a Russian BBS
focusing on file sharing, posted torrent links to 91 DVDs containing science and technology titles
aggregated from various other Russian sources, including Kolhoz. This massive collection had no
categorization or particular order. But it soon attracted an archivist: a user of the forum started the
laborious task of organizing the texts into a usable, searchable format—first filtering duplicates and
organizing existing metadata first into an excel spreadsheet, and later moving to a more open, webbased database operating under the name Aleph.
Aleph inherited more than just books from Kolhoz and Moshkov’s lib.ru. It


lity, carry ads to cover
costs but respond to takedown requests to avoid as much trouble as they can. From the perspective of
expanding access, these are not easy or straightforward tradeoffs. In Aleph’s case, the strong
commitment to the mission of providing free access comes with significant sacrifices, the most important
of which is relinquishing control over its most valuable asset: its collection of 1.2 million scientific books.
But they believe that these costs are justified by the promise, that this way the fate of free access is not
tied to the fate of Aleph.
The fact that piratical file sharing communities are willing to make substantial sacrifices (in terms of selfrestraint) to ensure their long term survival has been documented in a number of different cases. (Bodó,
2013) Aleph is unique, however in its radical open source approach. No other piratical community has
given up all the control over itself entirely. This approach is rooted in the way how it regards the legal
status of its subject matter, i.e. scholarly publications in the first place. While norms of openness in the
field of scientific knowledge production were first formed in the Enlightenment period, Aleph’s
11

BBS


file sharing in Bodo 2015


nowledge around the globe.
Sometimes book pirates do more than just forecast and react to changes that are independent of them.
Under certain conditions, they themselves can be powerful agents of change (Bodó, 2011b). Their agency
rests on their ability to challenge the status quo and resist cooptation or subjugation. In that effect, digital
pirates seem to be quite resilient (Giblin, 2011; Patry, 2009). They have the technological upper hand and
so far they have been able to outsmart any copyright enforcement effort (Bodó, forthcoming). As long as
it is not completely possible to eradicate file sharing technologies, and as long as there is a substantial
difference between what is legally available and what is in demand, cultural black markets will be here to
compete with and outcompete the established and recognized cultural intermediaries. Under this constant
existential threat, business models and institutions are forced to adapt, evolve or die.
After the music and audiovisual industries, now the book industry has to address the issue of piracy.
Piratical book distribution services are now in direct competition with the bookstore on the corner, the
used book stall on the sidewalk, they com


file sharing in Custodians 2015


o read, to write, to review,
to edit, to digitize, to archive, to maintain libraries, to make them
accessible. It is to be of use to, not to make property of, our knowledge
commons.

More than seven years ago Aaron Swartz, who spared no risk in standing up for
what we here urge you to stand up for too, wrote: "We need to take
information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the
world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the
archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to
download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need
to fight for Guerilla Open Access. With enough of us, around the world, we'll
not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we'll
make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?"9

We find ourselves at a decisive moment. This is the time to recognize that the
very existence of our massive knowledge commons is an act of collective civil
disobedience. It is the time to emerge from hiding and put our names behind
this act of resistance. You may feel isolated, but there are many of us. The
anger, desperation and fear of losing our library infrastructur


file sharing in Dockray 2013


d be? Where do we find new political imaginaries? Not to ask what is the bright side, or what
can we do to cope, but what are the genuinely emancipatory possibilities that are somehow still
latent, buried under the present - or emerging within those ruptures in it? - - - I can't make it all
the way to a happy ending, to a happy beginning, but at least it's a beginning and not the end.


file sharing in Giorgetta, Nicoletti & Adema 2015


n its more radical
guises open access can be more closely aligned with the practices associated
with digital pirate libraries such as the ones listed above, for instance
through Aaron Swartz’s notion of [Guerilla Open
Access](https://archive.org/stream/GuerillaOpenAccessManifesto/Goamjuly2008_djvu.txt):

> We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and
share them with the world. We need to take stuff that’s out of copyright and
add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the
Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing
networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access. (Swartz 2008)

However whatever form or vision of open access you prefer, I do not think it
is a ‘solution’ to any problem—such as copyright/fight—, but I would rather
see it, as I have written
[elsewhere](http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/11/18
/embracing-messiness-adema-pdsc14/), ‘as an ongoing processual and critical
engagement with changes in the publishing system, in our scholarly
communication practices and in our media and technologies of communication.’
And in this sense open access practices offer us the


file sharing in Mars & Medak 2019


tural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly
being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. . . . Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their
colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at
Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite
universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global
South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.” After a no-­nonsense
diagnosis followed an even more clear call to action: “We need
to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing
networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access” (Swartz 2008).
Where a system has failed to change unjust laws, Swartz felt, the
responsibility was on those who had access to make injustice a
thing of the past.
Whether Swartz’s intent actually was to release the JSTOR repository remains subject to speculation. The prosecution has never
proven that it was. In the context of the legal process, his call to
action was simply taken as a matter of law and not for what it
was—­a matter of politics. Yet, while his political action was pre-

empted, others have continued pursuing his visio


file sharing in Sekulic 2018


ng copyright
regulations.”(6) Here, disobedience and piracy have an equalizing effect on
the asymmetries of access to knowledge.

In 2008, programmer and hacktivist Aaron Swartz published Guerilla Open
Access Manifesto triggered by the enclosure of scientific knowledge production
of the past, often already part of public domain, via digitization. “The
world's entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in
books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful
private corporations […] We need to download scientific journals and upload
them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.”(7)
On January 6, 2011, the MIT police and the US Secret Service arrested Aaron
Swartz on charges of having downloaded a large number of scientific articles
from one of the most used and paywalled database. The federal prosecution
decided to show the increasingly nervous publishing industry the lengths they
are willing to go to protect them by indicting Swartz on 13 criminal counts.
With a threat of 50 years in prison and US$1 million fine, Aaron committed
suicide on January 11, 2013. But he left us with an assignment – if you have
acces


file sharing in Sollfrank & Kleiner 2012


topologies, and
the social relations embedded in communication systems with the political
economy and economic ideas, and people's relationships to each other. [34:24]
The Miscommunication Technologies series has been going on for a quite a while
now, I guess since 2006 or so. Most of the works were pretty obscure, but the
more recent works are getting more attention and better known. And I guess
that the ones that we're talking about and exhibiting the most are deadSwap,
Thimbl and R15N, and these all attempt to explore some of the ideas.

[35:01]
deadSwap

[35:06]
deadSwap is a file sharing system. It's playing on the kind of
circumventionist technologies that are coming out of the file sharing
community, and this idea that technology can make us be able to evade the
legal and economic structures. So deadSwap wants to question this by creating
a very extreme parody of what it would actually mean to really be private.
[35:40] It is a file sharing system, that in order to be private it only
exists on one USB stick. And this USB stick is hidden in public space, and its
user send text messages to an anonymous SMS gateway in order to tell other
users where they've hidden the stick. When you have the stick you can upload
and download files to it – it's a file sharing system. It has a Wiki and file
space, essentially. Then you hide the stick somewhere, and you text the system
and it forwards your message to the next person that is waiting to share data.
And this continues like that, so then that person can share data on it, they
hide it somewhere and send an SMS to the system which then it gets forwarded
to the next person. [36:28] This work serves a few different functions at
once. First, it starts to get people to understand networks and all the basic
components. The participants in the artwork actually play a network node – you
are passing on informati


file sharing in Tenen & Foxman 2014


de, an argument
is made for unrestricted access to information as a prerequisite to
properly deliberative democracy.^[5](#fn-2025-5){#fnref-2025-5}^ On this
view, access to knowledge is a form of political power, which must be
equitably distributed, redressing regional and social imbalances of
access.^[6](#fn-2025-6){#fnref-2025-6}^ The other side offers pragmatic
reasoning related to the long-term sustainability of the cultural
sphere, which, in order to prosper, must provide proper economic
incentives to content creators.^[7](#fn-2025-7){#fnref-2025-7}^

It is our contention that grassroots file sharing practices cannot be
understood solely in terms of access or intellectual property. Our field
work shows that while some members of the book sharing community
participate for activist or ideological reasons, others do so as
collectors, preservationists, curators, or simply readers. Despite
romantic notions to the contrary, reading is a social and mediated
activity. The reader encounters texts in conversation, through a variety
of physical interfaces and within an ecosystem of overlapping
communities, each projecting their own material contexts, social norms,
and ideologies. A technician who wor


ere credit is due. We believe in documenting attribution
thoroughly.\
-- We limit our usage of licensed material to the analysis of metadata,
with results used for non-commercial, nonprofit, educational purposes.\
-- Lab participants commit to abiding by these principles as long as
they remain active members of the research group.

In accordance with these principles and following the practice of
scholars like Balazs Bodo ^[9](#fn-2025-9){#fnref-2025-9}^, Eric Priest
^[10](#fn-2025-10){#fnref-2025-10}^, and Ramon Lobato and Leah Tang
^[11](#fn-2025-11){#fnref-2025-11}^, we redact the names of file sharing
services and user names, where such names are not made explicitly public
elsewhere.

**Centralization**

We begin with the intuition that all infrastructure is social to an
extent. Even private library collections cannot be said to reflect the
work of a single individual. Collective forces shape furniture, books,
and the very cognitive scaffolding that enables reading and
interpretation. Yet, there are significant qualitative differences in
the systems underpinning private collections, public libraries, and
unsanctioned peer-to-peer information exchanges like *The Pirate Bay*,
for example. Giv


he profile of a passive,
non-transformative site by these criteria. For Lobato and Tang, the
rapid disappearance of many prominent cyberlocker sites underscores the
"structural instability" of "fragile file-hosting
ecology."^[26](#fn-2025-26){#fnref-2025-26}^ In our case, it would be
more precise to say that cyberlocker architecture highlights rather the
structural instability of centralized media archives, and not of file
sharing communities in general. Although bereaved readers were concerned
about the irrevocable loss of a valuable resource, digital libraries
that followed built a model of file sharing that is more resilient, more
transparent, and more participatory than their *LNU/Gigapedia*
predecessors.

**Distribution**

In parallel with the development of *LNU/Gigapedia*, a group of Russian
enthusiasts were working on a meta-library of sorts, under the name of
*Aleph*. Records of *Aleph's* activity go back at least as far as 2009.
Colloquially known as "prospectors," the volunteer members of *Aleph*
compiled library collections widely available on the gray market, with
an emphasis on academic and technical literature in Russian and
English.\
*DVD case cover of "Traum's library" advertis


ssue, a member suggested delisting the website by altering the
robots.txt configuration file and thereby blocking *Google*
crawlers.^[35](#fn-2025-35){#fnref-2025-35}^ Consequently, the site
would become invisible to *Google*, while remaining freely accessible
via a direct link. Early conversations on *RR*, reflect a consistent
concern about the archive's longevity and its vulnerability to official
sanctions. Rather than following the cyber-locker model of distribution,
the prospectors decided to release canonical versions of the library in
chunks, via *BitTorrent*--a distributed protocol for file sharing.
Another decision was made to "store" the library on open trackers (like
*The Pirate Bay*), rather than tying it to a closed, by-invitation-only
community. Although *LN/Gigapedia* was already decentralized to an
extent, the archeology of the community discussion reveals a multitude
of concious choices that work to further atomize *Aleph* and to
decentralize it along the axes of the collection, governance, and
engineering.

By March of 2009 these efforts resulted in approximately 79k volumes or
around 180gb of data.^[36](#fn-2025-36){#fnref-2025-36}^ By December of
the same year, the moderators


em, we need to review some of the
fundamentals behind the *BitTorrent* protocol. At its bare minimum (as
it was described in the original specification by Bram Cohen) the
protocol involves a "seeder," someone willing to share something it its
entirety; a "leecher," someone downloading shared data; and a torrent
"tracker" that coordinates activity between seeders and
leechers.^[41](#fn-2025-41){#fnref-2025-41}^

Imagine a music album sharing agreement between three friends, where,
initially, only one holds a copy of some album: for example, Nirvana's
*Nevermind*. Under the centralized model of file sharing, the friend
holding the album would transmit two copies, one to each friend. The
power of *BitTorrent* comes from shifting the burden of sharing from a
single seeder (friend one) to a "swarm" of leechers (friends two and
three). On this model, the first leecher joining the network (friend
two, in our case) would begin to get his data from the seeder directly,
as before. But the second leecher would receive some bits from the
seeder and some from the first leecher, in a non-linear, asynchronous
fashion. In our example, we can imagine the remaining friend getting
some songs from the first friend


ns without resorting to a central tracker.
Under these new guidelines, each peer would maintain a small routing
table pointing to a handful of nearby peer locations. In effect, DHT
placed additional responsibility on the swarm to become a tracker of
sorts, however "sloppy" and imperfect. By November of of 2009, *Pirate
Bay* announced its transition away from tracking entirely, in favor of
DHT and the related PEX and Magnetic Links protocols. At the time they
called it, "world's most resilient
tracking."^[44](#fn-2025-44){#fnref-2025-44}^

Despite these advancements, the decentralized model of file sharing
remains susceptible to several chronic ailments. The first follows from
the fact that ad-hoc distribution networks privilege popular material. A
file needs to be actively traded to ensure its availability. If nobody
is actively sharing and downloading Nirvana's *Nevermind*, the album is
in danger of fading out of the cloud. As one member wrote succinctly on
*Gimel* forums, "unpopular files are in danger of become
inaccessible."^[45](#fn-2025-45){#fnref-2025-45}^ This dynamic is less
of a concern for Hollywood blockbusters, but more so for "long tail"
specialized materials of the sort found in *Aleph*, and indeed, for
*Aleph* itself as a piece of software distributed through the network.
*Aleph* combats the problem of fading torrents by renting
"seedboxes"--servers dedicated to keeping the *Aleph* seeds containing
the archive alive, preserving the availability of the collection. The
server in production as of 2014 can serve up to 12tb of data speeds of
100-800 megabits per second. Other file sharing communities address the
issue by enforcing a certain download to upload ratio on members of
their network.

The lack of true anonymity is the second problem intrinsic to the
*BitTorrent* protocol. Peers sharing bits directly cannot but avoid
exposing their IP address (unless these are masked behind virtual
private networks or TOR relays). A "Sybil" attack becomes possible when
a malicious peer shares bits in bad faith, with the intent to log IP
addresses.^[46](#fn-2025-46){#fnref-2025-46}^ Researchers exploring this
vector of attack were able to harvest more than 91,000 IP addresses in
less th

 

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