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#OpAlexandria

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  1. ===================
  2. =  #OpAlexandria  =
  3. ===================
  4.  
  5. The present "intellectual property" regime of the West, exemplified and enforced by the United States, has now begun to betray its own craven self-interest with a frequency and ferocity capable of offering a genuine surprise to even the most inveterate redistributors of digital works. The recent past has seen students arrested for modifying video game consoles (Matthew Crippen), the Department of Homeland Security issuing press releases from Disney real-estate (ICE Assistant Secretary Morton following "Operation: In Our Sites"), the condemnation as "terrorists" of those who dare to fix the eye of the viewer behind the wrong end of an AK ("Sonic Jihad" Samir), and most recently, the use of armed paramilitary squadrons delivered via helicopter to spirit away "copyright infringers" (Kim Dotcom).
  6.  
  7. Barely less than a month after the shuttering of Megaupload at the behest of the usual schizoid coke-addled goon squad, library.nu, arguably the world's most extensive single public collection of digital books, has been taken down by a much less visible though no less odious or well-heeled assemblage of publishers who, like the MAFIAA, find themselves driven into slow-motion existential crisis by a decade-long failure to deal with the emergence of new channels of digital mass-distribution.
  8.  
  9. The public speakers for the upper echelons of the publishing industry are fond of presenting the vibration of a truth through the frequency of a lie; stating that sites such as l.nu take money from the pockets of authors and for that reason deserve to be shut down. How to reconcile this with the actions of Google, which having embarked on a much similar project not only got its day in court, but walked away with a quite favorable set of arrangements? Of course it is always the author who must be presented as the victim, because an author is a person and it is much easier to manipulate people's feelings through other people than through multi-billion-dollar publishing conglomerates, about which people tend rightly to not give a shit (Citizens United notwithstanding.) The AAP's press release (linked below) cites "a total of 17 plaintiff publishing companies filed requests for injunctions covering 170 book titles", and yet l.nu was still brought down instantly and totally.
  10.  
  11. The importance of commercial control of the material means and methods of abstraction, the contemporary digital engines by which human culture is augmented, is profoundly difficult to overstate. Humans are programmed to treat culture as the storage medium for collective memory and experience, so it follows that economic control of culture is a very serious business indeed.
  12.  
  13. The similarities of the present to the era of the Enlightenment are easy to find, and while the American public education on this time period will often be whipped through in a few weeks as a means of glorifying monied Europeans, it is important to note that the Enlightenment was triggered in large part not by the unqualified act of reading, but by the act of reading "pirated" material.
  14.  
  15. The writings of John Locke, for example, first emerged from the publishing-houses of London but were soon reprinted in Dublin, Glasgow, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Geneva, Brussels, Paris, Leipzig, Uppsala, Jena, Mannheim, Milan, Naples, Stockholm and finally Boston. When Italian readers encountered Locke they were less likely to be viewing Locke’s own words than those words as translated into Italian from a French edition produced in the Netherlands. Enlightenment knowledge spread through chain reactions of re-appropriation, unauthorized and denounced, and in the most radical of these channels circulated tracts with false imprints, untraceable and anonymous, which bore the works of the Spinozists, the Illuminati, John Toland, and the heretical writings of Issac Newton, who relied on unauthorized, self-perpetuating publishing networks to distribute his religious and alchemical writings pseudonymously without having their content threaten his proximity to the royal court.
  16.  
  17. While there may be little that can be done that has not been done already to the actors who perpetrated the shutdown of Megaupload ("Fuck, another DDoS? COOL STORY BRO") the parties responsible for the shutdown of l.nu are not only much less monolithic but also lack the MAFIAA's base of built-in Internet rage. As such, this story may yet slip through the cracks in a way Megaupload's never could, and not simply because one deals in hot fresh porn/movies/warez and the other in boring old books: the actions of the MAFIAA have come, over the past decade, to be subjected to a constant, cellular level of monitoring (sousveillance?) by the host organism to which it has attached itself. Conversely, the publishers responsible for l.nu's takedown, while in several cases known to be assholes, are not terribly familiar to most people. Rectifying this situation is one aim of this txt.
  18.  
  19.  
  20.  
  21. ************
  22. * FUN FACT *
  23. ************
  24. While the Library of Alexandria probably had hundreds of thousands of scrolls
  25. (Ptolemy II set an objective of half a million), each work would be divided into
  26. multiple scrolls and many works were duplicates; thus the number of individual works
  27. is unlikely to have been as high as 100,000 - a fraction of the works l.nu made availible.
  28.  
  29.  
  30. {{{NOTE}}} that a "living edition" of this document can be found @ [[http://piratepad.net/wBG0mTtG87]]. New information added to that pad will be folded into the text you are reading now as it emerges and is verified.
  31.  
  32.  
  33. +++++++++++++++
  34. + THE PLAYERS +
  35. +++++++++++++++
  36.  
  37. ------------
  38. - Elsevier -
  39. ------------
  40. [[http://www.elsevier.com/]]
  41. [[http://www.reedelsevier.com/]]
  42. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsevier#Imprints]]
  43.  
  44. Perhaps you recognize this name? These chumps come first because they're surely the most irredeemably evil of the bunch:
  45.  
  46. > They've taken pharmaceutical industry advertisements and passed them off as peer-reviewed science.
  47. > They've taken papers which stem from publicly-funded research and locked them behind paywalls.
  48. > They've bought congresscritters and convinced them to sponsor bills rolling back laws guaranteeing public access to the results of publicly-funded research.
  49. > They've sued universities.
  50. > They've profited directly from war by way of organizing international arms fairs.
  51. ((References below))
  52.  
  53. --------------------------------------
  54. - Association of American Publishers -
  55. --------------------------------------
  56. [[http://www.publishers.org]]
  57.  
  58. Tom Allen, President and CEO, sounds in the AAP's press release as if he's hopping on the ACTA bandwagon after the wheels have already come off: “For every rogue site that is taken down, there are hundreds more demanding similar effort. I can’t think of a more timely example of the need for additional tools to expedite such action.”
  59.  
  60. The press release also alludes to an unnamed technical collaborator: "The [l.nu] operators used very sophisticated technical systems which immediately detected and repelled higher access rates to the platforms from outside. The necessary securing of evidence - during which software which had been specifically developed by IT specialists for this purpose was used for the documentation of the infringements - was significantly impeded by this technical blocking."
  61.  
  62. ----------------------------------------
  63. - International Publishers Association -
  64. ----------------------------------------
  65. [[http://www.internationalpublishers.org/]]
  66.  
  67. Jens Bammel, Secretary General: "Today, the international book industry has shown that it continues to stand up against organised copyright crime." Named by AAP as a primary coordinator.
  68.  
  69. ------------------------
  70. - Lausen Rechtsanwälte -
  71. ------------------------
  72. [[http://www.lausen-rechtsanwaelte.de/]]
  73.  
  74. German law firm. Named by AAP as a primary coordinator.
  75.  
  76. -------------------------------------------------
  77. - German Publishers and Booksellers Association -
  78. - (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels)      -
  79. -------------------------------------------------
  80. [[http://www.boersenverein.de/]]
  81.  
  82. CEO: Alexander Skipis. Named by AAP as a primary coordinator.
  83.  
  84. ------------------------------------
  85. - Irish Copyright Licencing Agency -
  86. ------------------------------------
  87. [[http://www.icla.ie/]]
  88.  
  89. Chief Executive Samantha Holman has gone on the record as saying she supports cutting people's Internet connections for "infringement". The ICLA was aware of actions being taken against l.nu as far back as December; possibly earlier (Sunday Times, John Mooney, 18.12.2011) and is for that reason a subject of primary interest.
  90.  
  91. -------------------------------------
  92. - Federation of European Publishers -
  93. -------------------------------------
  94. [[http://www.fep-fee.be/]]
  95.  
  96. President Fergal Tobin openly supports government censorship of the Internet.
  97.  
  98. -----------------
  99. - HarperCollins -
  100. -----------------
  101. [[http://www.harpercollins.com/]]
  102. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HarperCollins#Imprints]]
  103.  
  104. Owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
  105.  
  106. ------------------------
  107. - Macmillan Publishers -
  108. ------------------------
  109. [[http://www.macmillan.com/]]
  110.  
  111. -----------------------------------
  112. - The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. -
  113. -----------------------------------
  114. [[http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/]]
  115.  
  116. -----------------------------------
  117. - Springer Science+Business Media -
  118. -----------------------------------
  119. [[http://www.springer.com/]]
  120.  
  121. Like Elsevier, relies on public funds to produce a good deal of what it winds up selling for profit. l.nu is not the first lawsuit in which Springer has cooperated with Elsevier. Was involved in the takedown of aaaaaaargh.org awhile back.
  122.  
  123. --------------------
  124. - Cengage Learning -
  125. --------------------
  126. [[http://www.cengage.com/]]
  127. [[http://www.apax.com/]]
  128.  
  129. Owned by global private equity firm Apax Partners.
  130.  
  131. --------------------
  132. - Taylor & Francis -
  133. --------------------
  134. [[http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/]]
  135. [[http://www.informa.com/]]
  136.  
  137. A division of Informa PLC
  138.  
  139. ---------------------
  140. - John Wiley & Sons -
  141. ---------------------
  142. [[http://www.wiley.com/]]
  143.  
  144. ---------------------
  145. - Pearson Education -
  146. ---------------------
  147. [[http://www.pearsoned.com/]]
  148. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearson_Education#Imprints]]
  149.  
  150. ----------------
  151. - Georg Thieme -
  152. ----------------
  153. [[http://www.thieme.com/]]
  154. [[http://www.thieme.de/]]
  155.  
  156. -----------
  157. - Hogrefe -
  158. -----------
  159. [[http://www.hogrefe.com/]]
  160.  
  161. -------------
  162. - C.H. Beck -
  163. -------------
  164. [[http://beck.de]]
  165.  
  166. ---------------------
  167. - Walter De Gruyter -
  168. ---------------------
  169. [[http://www.degruyter.com/]]
  170.  
  171. -----------------------------------
  172. - Nederlands Uitgeversverbond NUV -
  173. -----------------------------------
  174. [[http://www.nuv.nl/]]
  175.  
  176. ---------------------------------
  177. - Associazione Italiana Editori -
  178. ---------------------------------
  179. [[http://consultazione.adozioniaie.it/]]
  180.  
  181. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  182. - International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) -
  183. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  184. [[http://www.stm-assoc.org/]]
  185.  
  186. ---------------------------
  187. - Oxford University Press -
  188. ---------------------------
  189. [[http://www.oup.com/]]
  190.  
  191. ------------------------------
  192. - Cambridge University Press -
  193. ------------------------------
  194. [[http://www.cambridge.org/]]
  195.  
  196.  
  197. ===========
  198. =  Links  =
  199. ===========
  200.  
  201. The Basic Story
  202. ---------------
  203. http://www.publishers.org/press/59/
  204. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/copyright/article/50650-publishers-score-win-in-international-piracy-battle.html
  205. http://www.thebookseller.com/news/international-publisher-alliance-shuts-down-piracy-site.html
  206. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/15/librarynu-book-downloading-injunction_n_1280383.html
  207.  
  208.  
  209. Elsevier
  210. --------
  211. http://thecostofknowledge.com/
  212. http://www.scienceforpeace.ca/0609-reed-elsevier-and-the-arms-trade
  213. http://classic.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55679/
  214. http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=807
  215. http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=846
  216. http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/journals.html
  217. http://blogs.ch.cam.ac.uk/pmr/2011/11/27/textmining-my-years-negotiating-with-elsevier/
  218.  
  219. Irish Copyright Licencing Agency (?)
  220. ------------------------------------
  221. http://pastebin.com/wd1ym2PB
  222.  
  223.  
  224. ... and finally, potential l.nu replacements
  225. --------------------------------------------
  226. http://sqchen1982.blogspot.com/2012/02/librarynu-shut-down-and-sustitutes.html
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