Mitochondrial Vertigo

April 25, 2010

The Discussion of the Macmillan Threat

Tunneling With Texts

In following the events of the Mark Taylor/Macmillan attempt to pressure the academic text file sharing resources of to shut down – Macmillan and Mark Taylor to take down, A Bit More on the Macmillan Attempted Takedown of – I’ve missed out on the conversation and narrative of events. Austin posted a link to the discussion thread “Going Underground” at, which I have as of yet not had the time to read through, it began a week ago. I post the unformatted content here for those who have not signed up as members in the hope to generate more information and discussion, and hope to read through it in the next days:

going underground

posted by aaaarg 1 week ago

regarding the recent 404s: it seems as though the place where files were being served from was taken down due to a series of DMCA requests from macmillan, as you can get a feeling for below:

We have received a formal DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice regarding allegedly infringing content hosted on your site. The specific content in question is as follows (although evidence suggests that more titles have been looked at):…
The party making the complaint (Mark Taylor,, claims under penalty of perjury to be or represent the copyright owner of this content. Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(c), we have removed access to the content in question.

this means that aaaarg is in a pretty precarious state at the moment. so, no new accounts are being approved; text uploads are being frozen until things are smooth again; the site may need to go offline without any notice beyond this warning… the question might be whether to go down in a direct confrontation or to shatter, disperse, and reconnect.

if you are very technically savvy, have server resources, and want to help, email someone @ (please explain in good detail how you are not a spy!). if you are savvy with legal matters, you’re welcome to do the same
there are a lot more registered users than you think.. we can do a lot together

see: theatre,, scholarship and copyright, and the following Public School classes: PERmaculture (Los Angeles)

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1970sA Genealogy of BibliographiesA History of Homosexuality in scholarship and copyrightAAAARGSOURCING V1 (LOOKING)Actor Network TheoryAesthetics of MusicAffectAfrica: cultural and development studiesAfterlife: secular perspectivesAGAMBENaldo rossi the architecture of the cityanarchist thoughtAndar a pé – ThoureauAnimalsAnthropologyanti-racist theoryantisemitismArchitectureArchitecturearchiveAround Walter BenjaminArt & Public Policyart + researchArt History and TheoryArtists-Practitioners Writings and Interviewsblack studiesBody, Identity & MetamotphosisBorderscapesBotanical Interventionsbre_1986paBureau of Cinema InterventionsCapital & Class JournalcapitalismCartographyCatastropheCinemaclimate changeClimate JusticecollaborationCollagecommunityComputer games, game aestheticsConceptual artconceptual historyConfucianismcontemporary art and theorycontrol citiesCraftCritical PedagogyCritical Pedagogy in the Digital EraCultural MemoryCulture IndustryDaryush Shayegan, The mutilated GazeDeath & MediaDeath Drive in psychoanalysis, philosophy, physicsdeconstructionDeleuzedemocracyDesign and Cultural TransformationDeutschdiasporaDigital Humanitiesdownload problemsearly soviet union: sources & studiesEcology/Political Ecologyeconomías alternasEconomic Crisis & the UniversityEconomic Sociology / Politics of Markets / RelatedEducationembodimentEmbodimentEspañolEstructura de procesos para productores creativosethicsEthnography of ImageExperiencefarwordfeminismForeign language learningFormalism, BroadlyFoucault, MichelFrançaisGandhiGaston Bachelard The New Scientific MindGender inequalityGentrificationGeography/ Geografía/ Geografia/ GeographiegestureGlobalization (and art)Health ResearchHegelHeideggerHeterotopiasHistorical Materialism JournalHolocaust Reflections: Arts, Literature, and CriticismhomosexualityhopeHow to represent the irrepresentable?Human Capitalhumanityhyperreality, non linea narrativeHypertextualityImagining LanguageInformation and Knowledge Societyinfrastructureinnovation: the path to the future of our society?Israeli apartheidKantKierkegaardkultural kapitalLacanlacanian-freudian psychoanalysisLatin AmericaLeft Communist & Anti Authoritarian Communistlesbian feminismLiberalismLinguistics, typography, literary interpetation, punctuationLos AngelesLove Poetry: The articulation of desire as means of cultural transformationMaking Strange – Russian Formalism // DADA // Surrealism // fundamental theorymanifestosMapping the Biopolitical MindMarxism and MarxMaterial Culturesmaterial languagemedia arts philosophy practice – fractal philosophyMedia, Networks and Technicsmedia…DISTANCE…warMedieval ConcernsMichel de Certeau, L’ecriture de l’histoireModernity, Terminable and InterminableMuseum Studiesmusic and genderNationalism, Nation, National NarrativeNatureneoliberalism and human capitalNietzscheobjectsOctober RevolutionOliver Grau- Media Art HistoriesOpacityotoman empire and historical sociologyottoman empire and historical sociologyPain- Subjection- Subjectivity- Assujetissement- Modernitypedagogical modelsPerformance / Performativity / Enactmentperformance and cinemaperformativityPerforming ArtsPhenomenologyPhenomenology: A CritiquePhilosophy of FilmPhilosophy of historyPhilosophy of Mind etc.PhotographyPhotographyPhotography and ArtPiracyPlace and historyPlausible ArtworldsPoemsPoeticspoetry and poeticsPolitical parties and organizationsPolitical PhilosophiePolitical Philosophypopular culturePostcolonial StudiespostmodernismPowerPre-Islamic Inner AsiaPsychoanalysisqueer theory / queer studiesradio broadcasting-in the era of televisionRefugeeRequest: Juergen Habermas: An Awareness of What is MissingRhetoricRhetoric and Composition: WritingRight to Migration, Right of ReturnRockefeller Philanthropy, past and presentRUINSsci-fiSelf-Organization for Sustainable PracticeSettler colonialismSituationist InternationalSo 1990’sSocial Psychology and PerceptionSociology Familysociology of culture and educationSoftware StudiesSonic ChiasticsSpace and PlaceSPECIAL EFFECTSspectatorshipSpeculative RealismSpinozism; Ontology; Ecologyspooky action at a distancestelarcStructure in International PoliticsStudy the reactionary and conservative thinkerssuggestions of readings related with mexico city?suicide in literaturesurplusTactical MediaTelos (Journal)temporalitiesTexts + Textures: A Writing Workshopthe age of the world pictureThe CityThe Elysian Park Museum of ArtThe Expanded Field of ArtThe Four Pathways Through Chaos; Continental DriftThe Limits of AestheticismThe ManifestoThe Methodology of Discourse Analysisthe mistaken bodyThe Page + The Screen: Siting Text in the Early 21st Century and BeyondThe Post Colonial Garden as Palimpsestthe UC strikes and beyondThe Unbearable Weirdness of BeingtheatreTheory of NarrativeTheory oif hegemonyThere is nothing less passive than the act of fleeingThinking with…thoughts west and eastTo readTourismTranslation & Translation Theory (+ Comparative Literature)Transparency, trust and technologyUniversal Concentration CampUnsound MyndUrban Foraging Groupurbanismvirilo #33Visual CulturevoiceWastewhat is the relationship between democracy and a strong national cuisine?Work and the Environmentzero books::::: add this discussion into an issue :::::+ create a new issue

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G. Thomas

12 Apr 2010 12:29AM

At a bare minimum, let’s set up a rally point somewhere where we can share info if it goes down all of a sudden, and work out how to reconvene. Just some kind of message board, even a blog with a comments box, whatever.

Spaceman Spiff

12 Apr 2010 1:38AM

How might one set up a rendezvous point that registered members could be notified about but would be somehow shielded from prying eyes?


12 Apr 2010 2:20AM

There are problems inherent in any design for a free exchange of information whose membership has to be vetted. I can swear to the doorman that I’m legit all I like, but that’s exactly what I’d do if I were an undesirable element, just the same.

The best solution I can think of is relocating the physical resources themselves to a country or territory without the resources or giveashit to bend to the pressures brought by ridiculous IP lawyers or whomever is harassing us.


12 Apr 2010 6:33AM

i’m not savvy in either technical or legal matters but if you need any sort of help to reconstruct the site count me in.


12 Apr 2010 9:07AM

I figure any bullet proof rendezvous point would have to somehow incorporate our current user names and pws. Specifically, I’m wondering if aaaarg could somehow copy our account user/pass details to a forum where we’d simply log in using our current user ids.

This, of course, doesn’t solve the issue of vetting new people.


12 Apr 2010 9:42AM

from an upcoming event at UCL –

Mark Taylor, newly arrived at Macmillan from the music business, will explore how the music industry’s experience of piracy could inform publishing’s anti-piracy strategies.

• What parallels are there between the music and publishing worlds? What could publishing avoid and what should it adopt from the music industry’s example?
• What pointers are there within publishing to future developments in piracy and what innovations are in the pipeline to tackle it?


12 Apr 2010 10:17AM

Ironic that this is taking place at a University. If Taylor and friends are lurking here, they should read ‘Why All Academic Research and Scholarship
Should Be Made Available in Online Open-
Access Archives—Now!’ from this book:…


12 Apr 2010 10:20AM

Note also that Taylor’s two hour UCL event costs £92.00 ($147 or 110Euro)

‘tsek honT

12 Apr 2010 11:44AM

Mark Taylor, Anti-Piracy Officer. I can just picture him… Do they have uniforms??

‘tsek honT

12 Apr 2010 12:09PM

dear aaaarg

Sorry about the clampdown… been wondering when the long snaky arm of digital law was going to come knocking again. Don’t have much in terms of tech-savvy or server resources myself, but keen to help in whatever way. Thanks as always for a phenomenal project!


12 Apr 2010 1:03PM

What is strange about this take-down is the way that it has removed the centre of the server – lots of reports of zip files downloading and then being unable to be decompressed – essentially corruption somewhere along the way. All the while presenting an unchanged front to aaaarg..

Reminds me of HAL 9000 singing Daisy Daisy in 2001.


12 Apr 2010 1:06PM

Better version…


12 Apr 2010 1:20PM

mp3 sharing survived napster’s shutdown by dispersal in several other interfaces. the other day i needed something that had been taken down from and just found it somewhere around google… i don’t understand the technical stuff, but maybe several different platforms scattered and that we can easily browse through with google could be an option?


12 Apr 2010 1:43PM

All of these PDF files should be uploaded as torrents on Pirate Bay!


12 Apr 2010 2:30PM

we could shift to temporary free blogs linking to files on MediaFire type services, seems to work with music.


12 Apr 2010 3:13PM

And it seems to work in the case of Gigapedia in a good way as well!


12 Apr 2010 5:35PM

Correct me if i’m wrong but don’t many of the links on mediafire type services expire very rapidly. The goal is to find a longstanding resource, as opposed to a continuously disintegrating one. But perhaps I’m being too much of a fascist when I lament disintegration.

G. Thomas

12 Apr 2010 5:43PM

At a minimum we know that any user who’s uploaded files most likely is not a cop. Not saying we should be that restrictive but it could be a place to start if we want a back-up site with logins.


12 Apr 2010 6:16PM

“What parallels are there between the music and publishing worlds?”

One springs to mind; prosecuting people who probably spend a significant amount more than the average person on your product for sharing it amongst themselves is not good business.

“What could publishing avoid… from the music industry’s example?”

I would say, people like Mark Taylor.

I hope something can be done to counteract the problem. I’m not technically or legally savvy but I am extremely grateful for this shared resource. This is a truly great thing here!


12 Apr 2010 10:36PM

possible options: 1. emulate musicblogs on blogger. so that files are uploaded to rapidshare and other sharing sites, and posted on the blog as “for viewing purposes only”, with links. sometimes the links have to be re-upped. its not a perfect solution but it is very possibly viable. 2. find out if places like denmark have laws which protect similar file sharing online nodes (as aaarg)? denmark is strong in terms of free speech laws (which is why nazis set up their servers there) but i am not sure the legal structure protects file sharing specifically. somewhat different issue.

Spaceman Spiff

13 Apr 2010 12:27AM

I’ve seen many comments that mention affiliation with educational institutions on this site. I’m sure that those of us at universities have access to the vast majority of these texts (certainly the copyrighted ones, anyways) through our respective libraries. Is there any way we could use the extremely broad and permissive fair use laws to respond to these requests. I’m only peripherally familiar with copyright law, I just thought I’d throw the suggestion out there.

linguistic being

13 Apr 2010 2:15AM

@ Spaceman Spiff: Unfortunately fair use laws only allow for a small percentage of use of copyrighted material without the permission of the right holders. For example, Universities are allowed to create and publish “course readers” for their students as these readers only (re)publish a very small percentage of the copyrighted material.

On the subject of relocation, as a member of other groups such as this, the use of forums in which members upload content onto sites such as mediafire and link to it content has proved (thus far at least) most advantageous. Re-upping may be required at times, as mentioned above, though this rarely proves to be too much of a problem. (see for an example)


13 Apr 2010 8:59AM

I started a blog awhile ago which never really got off the ground, but it might be worthwhile to get it running.

I’m going to actively post to mediafire and see how that works for now.


13 Apr 2010 9:35AM

Tell Mark Taylor is expropriating the common and ruining the fun. Not really an expert but whenever needed I can always re-upload some stuff.


13 Apr 2010 8:00PM

There’s also Scribd – probably not the best substitute, but it’s an option.

I want to point out too, that what makes this site unique is not so much the library of materials (though without that, the site wouldn’t amount to much), but the community of people who are willing and able to share materials. As long as the community is preserved, the library will continue to exist – so that’s what we should focus on if this site disintegrates.

Best of luck!


14 Apr 2010 1:56AM

I am very saddened by this state of affairs. I just wondered if the publishers concerned by a resource like aaaaarg will be bothered to study the impact of this type of sharing. we are not talking best sellers here. I doubt anybody stopped buying books because of aaaarg. might have save me a trip to a library or give access to resources I wouldn’t otherwise. books are still my first expense after roof and food. I might discover a book on aaaarg server and buy it to read more comfortably. I might have the book in one language but need it in English for citations. I might need the digital version for easier past and cut for essays writing…there are a thousand way of using such a resource that are not trying to rip off the publishing companies. hope this get sorted somehow. Now and always a great many thanks to aaaarg and everyone who contributed.


14 Apr 2010 2:29AM

I completely agree. The amount of books I have purchased has most definitely increased since arg. The difference for me is that I haven’t bought so many duds (books I couldn’t find in libraries and purchased only to discover they’re not as relevant as the promise of their title). Academic research rating, which leads to funding, is increasingly based on quantifiable indicators such as the amount of citations to books and articles. Electronically available books are between two and four times more likely to be cited than paper-only books.

Spaceman Spiff

14 Apr 2010 2:31AM

Thanks for your response, linguistic being.

I just want to second what YlY230 is saying about the community on this site. Can one of the site administrators start a blog (maybe on blogspot? Is there a better platform?) where we can continue this conversation and maintain the community in case the site gets shut down? I would do it myself, but that seems a bit presumptuous.


14 Apr 2010 4:38AM

There are a couple of solutions:

1. Gigapedia
2. Blog (with upping to some filehoster of your choice)
3. Setting up a free torrent tracker (or upping to some already existing)that does not require ratio standards of private ones
4. Forum
5. eMule (but I wouldn’t recommed it)
6. SoulSeek (with a channel)
7. Getting a server which is located in some country that doesn’t care about copyrights


14 Apr 2010 5:11AM

@ ariadne and @ eva

completely agree. a resource like this is all the more important to circumvent conventional distribution channels, especially in countries where simply there is no access to a lot of books, and for books out of print… it is academics and students who fuel the academic book business anyways…

hopefully we will be able to find a solution also around new anti-piracy laws.


14 Apr 2010 8:16AM

I hope at least a list of titles get preserved. As much as it functions as a library it functions as a reading list for many.


14 Apr 2010 8:51AM

Yes, and the ‘issues’ area too. I’ve been alerted to readings through these groupings, which I may not otherwise have found due to the elusiveness of some authors’ titles. Even if a ‘hollow’ arg remained, it would be useful.


14 Apr 2010 10:32AM

Creating buffer zoness in the site design itself could be useful. Specifically I am thinking, requiring a login before being able to even get to the library list.

It would be very good to preserve the open accessibilty, but this may be problematic. The archive may have to go “private”, due to the political climate. An openly accessible version seems to me, essential to the project! This version could change its venue. One year being a blog or set of blogs with links, one year being torrents. etc

So, like monks in the dark ages, the knowledge may need to be preserved in some “private” form at this point, where only current members can access it, and at the same time a way to a dupllicate version of the library, is produced, with the understanding that this duplicate version can dissappear and re-appear in different locations and forms.

of course, one big problem of totally open accessiblity is that one can assume that members now, include such people as Mark Taylor. so, does going “private” make a difference?


14 Apr 2010 11:12AM

Just saw that a certain wiki org in the news lately is looking at the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (; they generally seem to be about the same things as most here. I imagine that a server net will grow out of it.


14 Apr 2010 11:19AM

A reading list is easy enough for anyone to compile, especially now that the site is static since uploads have been turned off. Do a print to pdf of each library page (A, B, C, etc) or just copy & paste to a doc.

I’m similarly concerned about how to weed out the spies and trolls (Mark Taylor, if you’re reading this, you’re the scum of the earth). It definitely won’t be fair to everyone but I feel that entry to any new site or rendezvous point should be based on contributions to aaaarg. Presumably these characters haven’t been in the business of actually uploading anything to aaaarg.

The problem is, of course, how to prove that users aren’t misrepresenting themselves. Only aaaarg could verify this since s/he is the only one with access to our emails and list of uploads.


14 Apr 2010 1:59PM

for my part, should we have to relocate, i would start reposting the essay collections at
this is for no reason other than the format of those posts would be refused at gigapedia, avaxhome, etc.


15 Apr 2010 12:54AM

Of course, Mark Taylor, it’s the Marx that you have to protect.


15 Apr 2010 6:26AM

As with others, I hope that the community can be preserved in some form. I agree with the comments above that suggest that the best option may be individual uploading to the various already-existing sites; coupled with an index through blog/rss/facebook/twitter

It’s convenient that aaaarg have provided the download facility for us, but it is a dangerous business to be in, and technically illegal in many territories, so it seems to me that if we all take the responsibility individually for the actual sharing (using the many available platforms) we can potentially relieve a lot of the pressure?

‘tsek honT

15 Apr 2010 7:01AM

Agree that one person should not be liable to the International Anti-Piracy Corps (in their tight little outfits) for hosting a service which benefits all of us… I like the idea of a blog with an indexing function, as well as the discussion and request sections we have grown used to. Perhaps also a re-up request section for links that expire. Soulseek, torrents and any p2p system would pose a problem for me as my institution (my main access to the web) blocks these protocols… something like is an option, but I would miss the direct downloading and the fact that texts uploaded 5 years ago are still available!


15 Apr 2010 5:22PM

please see the new link on every text, so that you can post external urls for texts. the short term plan is a combination of what exists and what ‘tsek honT and djbtak have posted.


15 Apr 2010 5:50PM

Excellent! You might also want to suggest or use a service like for external links and perhaps we could compile a summary of preferred hosting services with pros/cons?

This functionality will also be useful for the OCR/version control discussion, as it seems like it would be straightforward to point to an OCR’d or otherwise improved version of the text?


15 Apr 2010 6:10PM

Perfect – I’ve been OCRing lots of the books I’ve gotten here with clearscan.

Heads up on another site:


15 Apr 2010 6:11PM

Also, for some of the verso books that were taken down:


15 Apr 2010 6:28PM

aaaarg: what if we want to post links of books that don’t exist in the library as of yet?


15 Apr 2010 6:46PM

I’d hate to gush but I’d like to write a paper on the strategic awesomeness of this community.

Yes, ‘strategic awesomeness’.


15 Apr 2010 7:41PM

strategic awesomeness indeed! (one of D+G’s most misunderstood concepts.)
i am very happy to read that aaaarg is still going strong! i am happy that the community is still together!

Spaceman Spiff

15 Apr 2010 7:55PM

I’ll second that!

Thanks aaaarg!

Thanks everyone else, too. This is a wonderful community and a wonderful project.


15 Apr 2010 9:34PM

dear aaaarg,
i have a couple of questions. first, with regard to posting external links, will there be a field for info (passwords, size, file format, OCR, quality description, etc.)? if so, will this option exist for each external link? second, will people who post a link be able to delete or replace it or will this option only exist for someone@aaaarg? also, how will we delete dead links?

my two cents:
my two preferred file hosting sites are and


15 Apr 2010 11:13PM

* there is a field for info now, limited to 255 characters.

* for every external link

* links can be edited by quite a few different (presumably reliable) people. this will become more clear as it gets used.

* dead links get deleted by simply deleting the URL on the add links page


16 Apr 2010 12:48AM

also, these external links are automatically passed through anon url.

finally, at some time tomorrow links to texts will be turned off (in the way i described above), which means there will be a lot more requests for external links. these requests are listed in the !! above.

new accounts will be approved at that time and the “add a text” link will be turned on again.

‘tsek honT

16 Apr 2010 1:05AM

Thanks to everyone, and of course especially “someone”! Will spend some time this weekend uploading from my library.


16 Apr 2010 12:22PM

Mr. Taylor’s previous job was Internet Investigations Officer, Anti-Piracy Unit, PRS for Music.

PRS appears to be a licensing racket based in the UK.


16 Apr 2010 12:35PM

ok, yellow text links have been more or less removed. text uploads are back up. the “!!” at the top of the page shows those texts which people are requesting external links to. no new accounts have been approved since this whole thing went down last week – pending registrations will start being approved shortly.


16 Apr 2010 4:11PM

Perhaps someone could post a brief sort of ‘tutorial’ on how to go about sharing texts through a system like mediafire,, etc. Not being too saavy in such matters myself I’m sure I could benefit from some advice and/or precautions.


16 Apr 2010 4:17PM

There are plenty of tutorials already out there-google it.

‘tsek honT

17 Apr 2010 4:24AM

This is working really well so far… a very interesting evolution.

@aaaarg: A suggestion: Maybe distribute a backup of the back-end (site code, library catalogue, content of the blogs – of course not the pdfs)to one or two trusted members from time to time… so that the site in its most current form can resurface quickly if (the horror, the horror) the Internet Gestapo ever manage to clamp down on your resources.


17 Apr 2010 5:09AM


My account just got approved (I’M NOT A SPY, I’M A NICE ARCHITECTURE STUDENT FROM LONDON) but I either cant work out how to download texts, or there is something wrong.

When I click request link nothing happens. Is this because of recent issues or do I have some kind of ‘untrusted newbie’ account?


17 Apr 2010 5:38AM

as far as i know dansapien, you’ll need to wait until someone uploads the text you’ve requested, and then you’ll find the direct link to it back in the library – this is right isn’t it all others?

just added a few direct links myself, stay strong!


17 Apr 2010 5:40AM

Guess I joined at a bad time, just put some links up myself, thought it may have been a trust issue.

thanks for the reply lwsn.


17 Apr 2010 6:00AM

all the best, aaaarg. your site changed my life, and i can’t thank you enough. i hope you find the way out of this deadlock – i can’t offer to help since i’m a total technophobe myself.
if ever there was a classic illustration of marx’s old formula – the relations of production holding back productive forces – this is it!
all the best and thank you for existing.


17 Apr 2010 6:19AM

Hi dansapien

If you track back through this discussion you’ll see that aaaarg has been a site which has hosted downloads for all account holders; but due to DMCA pressure has changed to a system whereby files are shared externally by members, and aaaarg hosts the description and the link.

For newcomers like yourself, this means that you will see that there are a lot of files listed in the directory which are not available to you. People who have uploaded or downloaded files previously are being encouraged by aaaarg to provide an external link which will be available to all, but this process is going to take a while (I just got through providing an external link to my own previously updated texts).

When you put in a link request, as I understand it, the text will be flagged as needing an external link and hopefully some member of the community will be able to reupload to or similar in due course.

Hope this helps and thanks aaaarg for the very prompt work on this!


17 Apr 2010 6:19AM

Hi dansapien

If you track back through this discussion you’ll see that aaaarg has been a site which has hosted downloads for all account holders; but due to DMCA pressure has changed to a system whereby files are shared externally by members, and aaaarg hosts the description and the link.

For newcomers like yourself, this means that you will see that there are a lot of files listed in the directory which are not available to you. People who have uploaded or downloaded files previously are being encouraged by aaaarg to provide an external link which will be available to all, but this process is going to take a while (I just got through providing an external link to my own previously updated texts).

When you put in a link request, as I understand it, the text will be flagged as needing an external link and hopefully some member of the community will be able to reupload to or similar in due course.

Hope this helps and thanks aaaarg for the very prompt work on this!


17 Apr 2010 8:36AM

I have previously uploaded and downloaded here and am not a newcomer, but still don’t have access to text links for some reason: I should be trusted according to this logic, no?


17 Apr 2010 10:15AM

just uploaded my first external link to mediafire! quite proud of myself.


17 Apr 2010 10:32AM

one question about mediafire. what difference does it make to have the file public or private. what is best?


17 Apr 2010 3:23PM

hey. joined the site because a friend mentioned the DMCA complaints. i’m a law student and these kinds of issues are why i am pursuing copyright law.

there may be some ways to preserve the nature of the site with some technical savvy. “libraries” and “archives” are exempt under §1201. However, in order to make a convincing case as a digital library, you can’t really provide readily copyable (for example, downloadable PDFs) materials on the site. (a wonderful example of this concept is

One way to do this would to be to implement a simple flash PDF viewer for the PDFs hosted on the server, that wouldn’t allow people to download. Beyond that, users can be responsible for sharing actual files on their own if they wish.

If there are any legal questions I’d be happy to do some research as this is closely related to research I’m doing on digital libraries. feel free to contact me at: 3str0g3n AT gmail

Stuart Studebaker

17 Apr 2010 6:47PM

the nature of the site is to allow people access to text files, usually in the form of pdfs, because they are easy to handle, that can be subjected to standard research practices, like “search”, “copy”, “Paste”, that kind of thing, and being able to calve off part of a chapter into another pdf, and otherwise re-arrange things as an academic would.

Furthermore, the nature of much of the research performed here is of some fairly radical nature, and the content we are working with plays into the considerations of how and why things here happen.

There is a large, if not wide-spread movement among some academia who feel that all academic writing should be free (as in beer) as well as free from restriction (as in speech).

Obviously, these (I believe legitimate) needs go directly against the ideology and social practice of the so-called “rights holders” who are, almost always, NOT the writers, but in fact, the publishers.

I think the present practice of aaaarg is about as good as it can be under the circumstances. I know I will set about feeding files into a third party system and making the links here.

A Flash PDF viewer just isn’t good enough. Either you got the goods, or, you don’t. The publishers say “No”, I (and many others here) say “Yes”. Yet another front on the class struggle…


17 Apr 2010 7:27PM

yeah. i totally understand (and agree whole heartedly).

my gut just says there might be a substantial in between that would allow people to quickly access, browse (and even search the file)s before requesting them or downloading them from a third party source. i think this could be done in a legally “acceptable” manner while still allowing the primary thrust of the site (actual distribution) to continue. it would even totally be feasible to have whatever infrastructure would display the PDFs (whether it be flash, html5 or what not) to automatically upload the content to a 3rd party (mediafire etc.).

that said, i wholeheartedly believe in the front that you want to fight this on. that said, you might even consider contacting the authors/estates of the DMCA’d works if possible and see if they’ve actually transfered ownership of the copyright to the publisher. a lot of independent publishers actually never go through this process, and so don’t actually legally own the copyright to the text (although they may own copyrighted imagery etc. on title pages and covers).


17 Apr 2010 9:37PM

So what has happened to all the data that aaaarg previously hosted? While I am trying to help with the external linking I still have my doubts as to whether or not previously uploaded pdfs from more obscure authors will be brought back

‘tsek honT

18 Apr 2010 12:15AM

@jared, I think there has been some discussion around building an in-text search functionality into aaaarg… but that, and the online reader you are suggesting would (as far as I understand) massively inflate the server overheads. Part of the beauty of this site has been its simplicity and relative ‘lightness’.

On the DRM side, I think there is something archaic about the way publishers are going about it, having had terrible experiences with DRM on ebooks that I have bought myself. The way that this site is simply negating DRM is part of an important process in the de-commodification of knowledge. And although it may not provide the answer, it is an important intervention in a neccessary reconsideration of how the production of knowledge could be funded.

thanks for your comments, it is great to get some insight on the legal angle, beyond abrupt takedown notices!


18 Apr 2010 4:53AM

ariadne, from one of mediafire’s FAQ pages:…
thanks for taking the leap and participating in the conversion!


18 Apr 2010 5:03AM

to esco-bar. thanks. I am getting the hang of it. thanks to all for advice.


18 Apr 2010 8:36AM

If you’re still looking for a host country that doesn’t give a toss about copyright law (in fact mainstream magazine and book publishers disregard it daily and openly – just nobody cares, really)and has other troubles to deal with at the moment try Greece. If needed let me know if i can be of any help.


18 Apr 2010 10:53AM

not true, greece may have financial problems but recently a group of people were taken to court because they had created a torrent called, you can check it out by googling the name of the torrent.


18 Apr 2010 2:40PM

thanks for your dedication someone!

One website which might be better than mediafire etc is …. No registration or providing email addresses , information etc, they actively block search engines from indexing files, they are non-networked, and you can have them require passwords if you’d like.

They downfalls is no direct hotlinking (but neither do mediafire etc), and also, they will, like most other site, remove copywrite data if they get a takedown notice. This is less likely to occur though, based on the reasons listed above.


18 Apr 2010 3:46PM

@aaaarg – shouldn’t the “add text” page be changed to allow users to post an external link instead of (or in addition to?) the file itself?

Jim Hawkins

19 Apr 2010 4:40PM

We could go for a system where every registered user hosts a few files on their own servers, using free webspace that sort of thing. When you register you only get approval by providing an active link with hosted PDF files. That way no single server could be removed in one go like that, it would make it much more difficult (time consuming) for spies to trace all the source servers and it would also put every user in a position where they themselves are implicated in the file sharing, meaning anti-piracy people could not sneak in without pirating material themselves. In addition, when files are taken down it would be much easier and quicker to repost.

Not sure if that would work out?


19 Apr 2010 8:47PM

i’ll echo YIY230 — not everyone who uploads has noticed that external links are necessary. aaaarg, can we change the ‘add text’ page?


19 Apr 2010 9:15PM

Although that idea makes sense, were taking a vacation from coding.. it will just have to be up to the people who download it to do what you’re asking


20 Apr 2010 4:01AM

Ok, let’s do what we can at the moment: it is obviously important that external links have to be added to every text. The easiest and fastest way to do it is that those who posted them add the external link too.
It is just that people are not informed about these troubling issues (I myself just got informed via the comment of another user below the material I uploaded).
I’d say that this is still a rather loose community at the moment – good idea would be for people to get more intertwined, to create some horizontal networks. Right now, we expect from admin to do most of the job, which is time consuming.
What do you think?

Spaceman Spiff

20 Apr 2010 4:11AM

I like the idea of horizontal networking, but how should we do it? Through message boards on this site? While I would be eager to e-meet many of you through email, I’m weary of sharing my address in a venue that’s clearly under attack by multiple corporations. I’m not too experienced with setting up online networks, so I’m excited to hear others ideas.

As to the uploading of texts to external links, I think it’s a good idea to have us do our own first (something I’ll tackle tomorrow or the the next day) but I also think it’s important to tackle the ones with the most requests. Maybe we can have folks add a message to the response board of a text they have an urgent need for, too, so we’re not hanging anyone out to dry. I’ve been doing the best I can, but there are only so many hours in the day.

Spaceman Spiff

20 Apr 2010 4:42AM

Also: Many of the requested texts are from the most frequent uploaders and it hardly seems fair (or functional, for that matter) to expect them to re-upload all their texts. Let’s help them out.

‘tsek honT

20 Apr 2010 4:50AM

on board.


20 Apr 2010 4:52AM

I agree, sounds reasonable.
The catch about horizontal networking is this double-bind: we want to share and exchange with each other personally, but we also need to protect ourselves. At least, most of us are fans of Aarg on Facebook.
Question for the admin: how about getting in touch with prof. Siva Vaidyanathan (Uni of Virginia), author of the books “Copyrights and Copywrongs” and “The Anarchist in the Library”?

Spaceman Spiff

20 Apr 2010 4:57AM

Oh, facebook. Useless so often, yet so crucial for such important things. I just posted on the wall of the facebook fan page for anyone interested in horizontal networking. Good idea hypertext.


20 Apr 2010 5:36AM

sometimes i have the filing that “they” will start to bill for air and water.
And what about people who live far away from any library????????
reeducate the “masters”!

G. Thomas

20 Apr 2010 5:59AM

Well someone already posted links to mine… but I got started with the greatest !!!! wish list. Good on everyone who’s doing it – we’re about an eighth of the way to the whole library. Using is incredibly easy. Cheers all!


20 Apr 2010 8:09AM

As mentioned above, seems a very good option. Its very quick, easy and very secure from what I can tell (you do not need to register). I have been using it to post links over the past few days.

Regarding facebook……I think it would be great to build horizontal networks, partly for strategic reasons, but primarily because this is a fantastic community.


20 Apr 2010 1:10PM

here’s a hint for people who no longer see yellow download links:
1. find some pdfs on your computer that you have downloaded in the past.
2. upload them to,, etc
3. post the link on the text page (“add an external link”)
4. repeat 4 or 5 times
(this message will self-destruct)


21 Apr 2010 8:11AM

Is it also possible to set up some sort of
’emergency’ upload forum? Perhaps files can be uploaded in response to specific requests… Of course this would require a strong and responsive community, I vote for Facebook in this regard…

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