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French ISPs Ordered to Block Sci-Hub and LibGen (torrentfreak.com)
696 points by obl 50 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 368 comments

This was demanded by Elsevier and Springer, as the copy of the order shows https://torrentfreak.com/images/scihuborder.pdf . Every researcher who still is an editor of one of their journals is responsible for this. Any academic manager who supports these journals, either by buying them or by counting impact factor points, is responsible of this. People should know that all of these people who support this are paid from their pockets.

Just remember. Not everybody studies particle physics. There are fields where there are no other options.

That's bullshit. Universities and professors have all the power; they just choose not to use it. The journal name means a lot, but so do the names of universities and well-respected researchers.

This requires collective action. An individual can't meaningfully influence the situation.

Certainly they can. What's forcing you to publish in nature? Just like... don't. If someone down the line is judging you based on what journal your work ended up in and not the quality of the work... well you probably don't want to work with them anyway

Are you in academia?

Not trying to be snarky here -- genuinely want to know your perspective. As an outsider, everything I know about it leads me to believe that academia is so competitive that you really can't afford to just "not publish in top journals" and be picky about who you work with/what offers you take.

I am in academia, I just don't care to play the game.

An academia that cares about journal over quality of work isn't really one I want to be a part of, so either way I'll be happy with the outcome.

Academic managers force you. Your older colleagues force you because they are part of the game. However, it is possible to work in academia and not to bend.

Anyway, make your research available, no matter where you choose to publish it. Take a look at DORA http://www.ascb.org/dora/ and popularize this declaration among other researchers. Help your colleagues who don't know how to find an article fast.

Do not cite Nature articles.

Tenured professors can, at least?

They're not going to fix the problem alone, and if they want to switch universities later they'll probably take a career hit in impact factor. But that's still very different from the postdoc/adjunct/non-tenure-track case where people who buck the system don't get positions, and so no one can sustainably push back.

Tenured professors generally care about the grad students and postdocs under their tutelage, which can push them towards submitting to a closed journal.

I think you miss the point. If there is one journal that specializes in your particular field, what else are you supposed to publish to? And if you aren't publishing to somewhere that your colleagues read, you aren't producing meaningful science.

Particle physicists did it, though. They managed to organize. If your field has one Elsevier journal to which everything is published all the better, because that means an alternative will be easier to promote with emails and at conferences. If your field is small, coordinating a shift away from journals is easier than if it is massive.

Any chance of getting a SFW version of that link? I can't click on a torrentfreak.com link, even if it probably is benign.

Here's a mirror whose URL is more petty-tyrant firewall friendly https://archive.fo/7x6Ui

I don't click on links such as reddit/r/funny or something, but torrentfreak I consider on topic enough as an IT security consultant that I click it and will defend its legitimacy if ever questioned. The site reports on internet freedoms in an uncensored and to the point manner that I like a lot.

If you have a fascist firewall, consider using Tor with the FascistFirewall=1 setting (https://2019.www.torproject.org/docs/tor-manual.html.en#Fasc...).

What do you mean? TorrentFreak is a news site.

His employer's filters might be blocking it since it includes "torrent" in the url.

That's a pretty common rule in Schools and Universities, for example.

Is responsible for what? I support efforts to use open-access journals whenever possible and putting these ungodly abominations out of business. But that's up to researchers and funding agencies, not up to "the Pirate Bay of science" or any other site that breaks the law. And while I don't think it's immoral or anything to use it, I do think it's somewhat shrill and disingenuous to act like its blockage is some kind of a civil rights/ free speech issue. It's a paper pirating site, guys. Getting blocked and closed down is part of the game. Calm down.

Let's be clear who's being "pirated" from. Elsevier and Springer don't pay for the research, or for the rights to the paper, or even the peer review.

The only compensation they're giving anyone is "exposure". Given how little that is worth these days, the validity of the copyright assignments they hold are questionable at best.

I believe what was being referred to is the legal standpoint.

The paid journals are an absurdity, but there is only one right course of action: Not using them. Submit no content, pay no subscriptions. Let them whither and die. With more and more universities joining in on open access, this should become easier and easier.

However, they still legally hold the rights to what they have, and thus releasing their content in public is still illegal. You'd have to get the original authors to legally release it elsewhere, which they might not even have the rights to.

Killing them by stealing the content which they legally yet immorally sell and have the rights to is neither just nor impressive, and gives them a chance to cry "Foul!". Do not give them that chance.

But the content they have represents a significant slice of humanity's knowledge that we have all worked hard and paid for. So if we allow these giants to wither and die but we don't rescue this content (currently possible only via illegal means) then don't we risk losing access to it entirely? To me, a moral action is one which confers the greatest benefit to humanity, so from this view these scurrilous science pirates may be legally wrong, but morally correct.

Then the proper action is to ensure that such moral acts are not heroic-but-illegal feats, but to ensure that our legal systems supports what we all agree is the proper way forward.

However, do note that from the outside, there's nothing wrong with the ability to create their model. I like that freedom. What is wrong is that we're all feeding it, sponsoring it with government money, and indeed putting what should be our shared knowledge into a private archive.

This is why I believe that the proper way forward is to simply not use them, while allowing their existence. Only if they somehow force their use, or disallow/inconvenience authors' attempts to release their content elsewhere should we take legal action in the form of writing laws against it.

> the content which they legally yet immorally sell

The real foul is when the government enforces immoral laws.

If you allow illegal activity as a form of protest—when it is not the absolutely last option—, then you negate the legitimacy of the law in general. So even if you argue your illegal action was the best possible measure to move society forward, you still have to accept the consequences for breaking the law.

In this case it is the presence of a legal device allowing to censor copyright-infringing sources which is bad; that is, censorship is not even limited to (very) serious crimes anymore. As a result the government is building the legal and physical infrastructure to manipulate communication via the internet. This will only embolden more authoritarian regimes in their pursuit to isolate and nationalize their internet infrastructure.

> If you allow illegal activity as a form of protest—when it is not the absolutely last option—, then you negate the legitimacy of the law in general.

There are old law on the books that no one in their right mind follows today. It's probably one of the ways a law gets repealed eventually - people stop obeying, state stops enforcing, and then perhaps a repeal happens. I don't think this is anything against the legitimacy of law system in general. It's just that it has many ways of working.

Though in this case it's more nuanced, as this is not against the copyright in general, just specific uses.

You're adding enforcement into the picture. Nonetheless, it is intended for law enforcement or the courts to judge whether to suspend the former. But to what point the two have that privilege depends on the specifics of the legal system. Meaning, unrepealed, weird old laws the US is known for could not necessarily stay unenforced in other countries.

A law has no inherent legitimacy simply from being a law. It must either reflect a social more or uphold public safety or, at the very least, be useful as a rule.

Should people be paid for the work they do? Yes. Should people be paid for the work of others? Maybe, if they contributed in some way. Should we pay an academic journal which charges fees for people to submit to them? No, that's absurd.

I think OP's point is that breaking any law undermines the principle of rule of law in general.

And I think that is an absurd conclusion. Nobody seriously thinks violating the speed limit or ripping your own DVDs is on the same level as murder or fraud, yet the former two are routinely violated to society’s benefit, with no impact on murder prosecution.

I do not subscribe to it myself, but "dura lex sed lex" is literally millennia old, so it's hardly an obscure notion.

It may have had more value in more savage times millenia ago before the proliferation of very many victimless crimes.

The best way to get a law changed is for everyone to be breaking it all of the time.

Laws only works because everyone follows it most of the time. If everyone is breaking a law, the government can't punish everyone, and eventually people start to wonder why it is a law in the first place.

We've seen this happen with other laws in the past, quite often. Pot legalization comes to mind.

Everyone is the magic word here. Reality isn't that trivial unfortunately and we aren't talking about instances where this approach worked, but whether this kind of approach is justifiable as a general procedure. While pot legalization is going well, there's also an opioid crisis. Does that mean we should further deregulate the opioid industry?

Beside, the majority isn't necessarily in the right either. That's why no matter what you and society need to process the fact that you have broken the law; note that I'm using the abstract term process, which

> That's why no matter what you and society need to process the fact that you have broken the law

Not really. People can do what they want. And that includes breaking bad laws, and trying to get away with it.

There is no obligation to "process" this fact, by turning yourself in, for whatever.

A perfectly valid strategy is to instead break bad laws, and try to get away with it. And if enough people do this, then it has an effect, and may eventually cause the law to be changed.

>> The best way to get a law changed is for everyone to be breaking it all of the time.

> Everyone is the magic word here

Unfortunately the "everyone" in this case is just a handful of centralized services - because data-hoarding, like so many other things, becomes vastly cheaper when you do it at scale. It turns out that Sci-Hub and LibGen are not so different from YouTube, FB and other SV unicorns - their vulnerability to legal shenanigans of various sorts is exactly the same!

Yes. The opioid crisis is directly caused by regulation.

"If you allow illegal activity as a form of protest—when it is not the absolutely last option—, then you negate the legitimacy of the law in general."

I don't think that's true if the laws in question are the result of corruption. Rich companies have been paying politicians for some time to keep copyright and patent laws strong in a way that suits their interests instead of the voters'. Resisting laws that came from bribery should be considered a standard part of democracy. Probably even celebrated as virtuous.

Looking at the topic here, I'd say Alexandra is doing something virtuous given corruption and incompetent administrators led to a system where all that research was concentrated in hands of tiny number of greedy players that did about nothing in return.

Agreed. I've thought of this as the 24/Jack Bauer line of thought. Torture is illegal and should be- but if you've tried everything else and you're running out of time before the nuke hidden in Los Angeles goes off- break the law and torture the terrorist.

Then- go to the cops after saving the city\failing to save the city and turn yourself in. Accept the consequence for breaking the law. Civil disobedience embraces this- civil rights activists fighting Jim Crow laws were more than happy to get arrested to highlight the injustice/immorality of the law.

Calling pirating content civil disobedience though is disingenuous in my opinion, especially if you have the means to access it the proper way and are using it to access your career. If you want to 'protest' then download it and then send an email to the FBI that you did so and then publicize it.

It seems very harmful to me to curry punitive action unless you are part of a mass movement with a valid aspiration to revoke the immoral law. Gratuitous self-harm just makes you a drain on everyone. Your moral purity is not worth harming the whole society.

> However, they still legally hold the rights to what they have, and thus releasing their content in public is still illegal. You'd have to get the original authors to legally release it elsewhere, which they might not even have the rights to.

Most scientists still hold the rights to their articles. You can often e-mail a professor if you need additional information, artifacts or code for reproducibility. Yes, it's hard to get professors to e-mail you back a lot of the times, but when they do, they are often open to giving you copied of their papers and underlying research data. Most journals don't put any restrictions on them for doing so.

In one of my publications, I had to pay an additional $150 just for that article to be open access (and that was over a decade ago. I'm sure it's gone up).

In that case, all it takes is the cooperation of the authors to publish their content elsewhere. The question is whether the professors are only okay providing it to you, or if they're okay with it being made openly available. If they retain the rights, it should be fine for it to be published in parallel elsewhere.

I was a bit careful about stating that its all on the authors, as it is entirely legal for the author to give up their rights to a work (and I wouldn't have been surprised if the journals did that to avoid risk of lost revenue), in which case the hands of the authors' would be bound.

> gives them a chance to cry "Foul!". Do not give them that chance.

They can cry whatever they want. I want them to disappear in great pain!

Then don't give them the legal weaponry to fight back.

They already have the weaponry. They have captured the content people need to advance science and learning. That's already lost, we can't re-fight that battle. The choice now is to either use SciHub to access that content by other means, or voluntarily avoid doing this - thus granting them the spoils of the victory, and hope to maybe, maybe have some content free in the next one. I don't see how not voluntarily granting them the spoils makes anything worse for me - the legal system is always on their site, and that won't change in my lifetime. So it's either no access to papers for me, and hoping that maybe my grandkids will have some - or SciHub.

They are responsible for the effects of their choices. Researchers who are editors of Elsevier and Springer journals are responsible for the locking of public funded research. The editors bring public money to publishers pockets. The academic managers are even more responsible. They pay these publishers for nothing, presently, because either the old articles are in their libraries, or all of the newer articles are already available from a variety of sources, like arXiv or researchers themselves. Academic managers also decide on the researchers carriers and research funds access, based on impact factor points, which implicitly is helpful for these publishers. The world is changing, but slowly, see for example the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment http://www.ascb.org/dora/ Editors and managers live in a bureaucratic fantasy, in total disregard of researchers needs. This can be deduced from the use patterns of sites which are legal everywhere, like arXiv.org, or for sites which are not legal everywhere, like SciHub or LibGen. These are not used because researchers are too poor to pay the publishers, although I have yet to find one researcher who is willing to pay to read a research article from his personal pocket. These sites are used because they satisfy a need: fast, full access to research.

While this area isn't my expertise. My understanding is that a large percentage of papers published have some Government funding.

I would really like to see research which is conducted with the public's money required to be entered into the public domain and currently that doesn't seem to be the case.

NASA comes to mind..

Those 2 libraries are the closest thing to the modern internet equivalent of the "Library of Alexandria". I hope they don't manage to burn in down.

Yes, for now governments only caught up to DNS level blocking, but more effective measures will follow if we don't change the political willingness to withhold knowledge from the masses.

> Those 2 libraries are the closest thing to the modern internet equivalent of the "Library of Alexandria". I hope they don't manage to burn in down.

This just reminds of how in the late nineties and early 2000s we used to have torrent sites for music enthusiasts with an archive of all the different versions, editions, bootlegs, all painstakingly added and catalogued, representing tens if not hundreds of man-hours worth of work by people who simply love music and wanted to share that love with other enthusiasts, creating some of the richest catalogues of music and music metadata the world has ever seen. And then it all was destroyed.

And this was true for many other topics of interest too.

We have burned many digital libraries in the last few decades, and we will probably continue to do so for a while longer.

More like hundreds of man-years, when you factor in all the editions, bootlegs etc that are now forever lost to time.

This should be a golden age for information preservation. Instead it's a dark age. I personally know several eye-wateringly good bands whose catalogs are not available anywhere, at all.

Given that those were torrent sites, they weren’t hosting the content. The individuals seeding the content still likely have copies of it. They just have no easy, obvious place to share it where they won’t get in trouble for doing so... for now. But if such a technology shows up later, the (already ripped and preserved) content might just show back up along with it.

This is a good point; it's amazing what's still out there. Bitrot does set in over time, though, and the less distributed a work is the worse its odds of living through each new tech transition. I've known people who still have cassette recordings of concerts that are publicly considered "lost". Hopefully they digitize and back up, but not all of them will.

Even the brief bloom of the torrent and sharing scene was incredible, though. Scarce works that circulate manually are in near-constant jeopardy, because every new copy takes new effort. But a whole lot of unique content, from jam-band tapes to obscure translated books, just showed up on torrent sites and got shared widely. Even if it's inaccessible at the moment, that stretch may have spawned enough copies to endure across the next few transitions.

> Bitrot does set in over time, though, and the less distributed a work is the worse its odds of living through each new tech transition.

Eh, I feel like we've almost fully gotten away from bit-rot. Bit-rot was a problem because individuals don't bother to go to the effort of constant IT administration, and don't have the economies of scale required to afford good data redundancy.

But individuals don't have to back things up "personally" any more. With one command, I can send three copies of any file to three object-storage providers. Each one (according to the Dynamo architecture, which they mostly all implement) is holding 17 copies of the data on 17 shards, and replaces copies from the good ones whenever they go bad. Each provider's copies only exist in one region, but the region is different for each provider selected. As individual object-storage providers die, I can find new ones and sync my data over from the surviving ones. As long as "cloud [redundant] object storage" as a concept exists, I won't have to do much at all to ensure continued integrity of my data. All the details—including porting my data to new physical substrates when old formats die—are being handled under the abstraction, and converted into (tiny!) monthly fees that are lower than what even a zero-redundancy tape library would cost me.

And, of course, the data I'm sending is encrypted, and not even with a symmetric key, but rather a PKI key where the decryption half of the key is held in cold storage (i.e. in hardcopy base64 in a safety deposit box at a bank; and a few other places.) If I'm uploading rips of something copyrighted, nobody will ever know that but me. I'll be able to get the data back out when the time comes to dust it off and share it.

In the HD movie torrent community – people sharing full Blu-ray images – a person’s collection can run into the many terabytes. My own collection amounts to 8TB and is only content I have watched personally and am interested in, while torrent communities greatly benefit from obsessive hoarders who download and seed content beyond their personal interests. There is no economical solution to back up that much data on the cloud, and bitrot does set in.

If you're not spending at least as much money (+ labor opportunity-cost) on your own data-storage solution as it costs to back the data up to the cloud, your data isn't safe.

The /r/datahoarder subreddit is full of people like this. I'm happy they exist, if nothing else so at least there may be a digital record of our civilization if it's destroyed.

"Data hoarding" along these lines is, IMO, an admirable use of time and money, and I wish that I had more of both so I could participate. One day I hope to.

Is there any technical reason we can't make a distributed tracker/community like what.cd, given that torrents are already distributed and ZeroNet et al exist? All we'd need is the forums and ratio bookkeeping.

Could you give me an example?

Sure. Mooi were formed in 1999, split in 2006, made a bunch of great music in between, and all that remains is this one song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF5cP8S0zOk

The masters still exist, I'm told, but that's no good to anyone - they won't be re-released because it would require too much intellectual property wrangling and nobody cares enough to bother, and sooner or later that hard drive will die and that will be that.

That's a shame. Looks like this one song managed to get on Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/m/Thsq5haec2ixuguqiep4bnfzcmi?...

Did they ever release their music on CDs? If so, surely some of those CDs are still out there somewhere and could be ripped, if only they could be tracked down. I guess that just hasn't happened yet though.

That's great song. Thanks for getting me interested in a band I can't torrent.

Edit: Wait. Am I part of the problem?

"Formed in 1999, Mooi are duo Rachel Lloyd and Laura Dickinson. The pair write heartfelt and intimate songs, with both members playing guitars and singing."

If you want more, look either of them up.

Mooi! Thank you for that link.

What.cd hosted, among other things, three unpublished Salinger stories. They were swiftly taken down by the site hosts over demands from his estate, but narrowly made it onto BitTorrent and other sites, and are still available today.

Meanwhile, a lot of unique live-concert recordings (often made with the band's permission, unlike the Salinger tapes) vanished with the demise of What.CD. Presumably some people still have them, if bit rot hasn't caught up, but they simply ceased to be available.

I'm not sure these ever landed on torrent sites, but the first album from Godspeed You! Black Emperor is considered lost, and Eminem's debut EP was unavailable for more than a decade. Both are (early-)digital-era works, which raises interesting questions about the fragility of even modern content. The archive-less disappearance of quite a few online short stories, flash games, and Soundcloud tracks makes me suspect that in a few decades, quite a few more "first works" of notable creators will be unavailable.

This is the negative of private invite-only trackers like what.cd. If they end up closing a lot of data gets dies with them. In contrast to that piratebay and nyaa.pantsu regularly upload their databases and there are even offline database readers for them.

This is very true, yeah.

Years ago, I was on a university private tracker. It was used more to share hard-to-find resources than for any actual piracy, much less piracy of anything new or policed. (I'm sure people stole plenty of 50-year-old textbook PDFs.) But when the hoster shut it down abruptly, everything simply vanished, including all kinds of hand-scanned and annotated stuff which may be literally irreplaceable.

Meanwhile, something like Kickass Torrents can be shut down and abandoned by the owners, but the content all reappears almost immediately. The private-tracker model has lots of advantages for community building, but as far as robustness it undermines the entire concept of P2P sharing.

I still have a 56kbps MP3 copy of Eminem’s first EP sent to me, pre-Napster, over AIM. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t unavailable until this post. And my son loves Eminem.

It looks like some copies hit the open internet around 2009, and a few of the songs has been remastered as promotional gimmicks. But yeah, I remember looking a bunch of years ago and finding that the title and one other song (Open Mic, maybe?) were the only things in circulation.

It's sort of funny to see that even something released post-internet can float in and out of availability like that. I generally class recent content as "lost" or "available", but obviously there's still a third category.

As a non-music example (and please somebody prove me wrong), I cannot find the 1954 movie "So This is Paris", starring Tony Curtis. No copies available anywhere on amazon, ebay, or searching through internet sites. There was a short clip of one of the songs on Youtube a few years ago, but it was taken down for copyright infringement. I simply cannot find it anywhere.

what.cd. I only used it sparingly, but apparently they had a lot of rare releases that existed nowhere else. Vanished overnight with the feds taking it down.

Actually it was a reverse proxy that was taken down, and they didn’t even target what.cd, it was collateral damage. The admins got scared nevertheless and pulled the plug.

Not sure if it applies but... The entire Google plus.

> More like hundreds of man-years

Yes, I just noticed I accidentally dropped the "of thousands" part while writing my comments.

agreed : "too much information kills information"

I remember a torrent site for old games. You had tremendous community efforts documenting and cataloging games. Gathering every thing from the different releases, patches, music, art, etc.

It was a gaming historian's wet dream. They were even beginning to record the releases from different warez scene groups.

But everything went away because, form what I gathered, someone in EA noticed you could download FIFA 96 for the Mega Drive/Genesis.

Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the site. RIP

It was Underground Gamer. The quality of the collection was astonishing, many games were impossible to get or purchase anywhere else due to abandonment. And everything just disappeared overnight.

People still have all this on their drives. I'm sure the community can be revived someday.

It WAS! Thank you.

I sure hope the community can be revived.

There's a lot more bandwidth and cheap storage today than 10 years ago. I'd love to be able to contribute and share to it.

> People still have all this on their drives. I'm sure the community can be revived someday.

I so dearly hope this is true for other sites like What.CD

Perhaps it was "Home of the Underdogs", http://homeoftheunderdogs.net

I imagine EA doesn't care about sales of FIFA 96, but they sure as shit worry about losing their FIFA license.

Playing devil's advocate, I think some lawyer got nervous about the licensed stuff in those games.

The FIFA games usually have licenses to use the teams and player names. and lots of licensed music.

IANAL so I'm genuinely asking: isn't that the responsibility of the licensed teams/player names/musicians and not of EA?

What.cd going down was terrible for that exact reason.

Yup, thankfully there are some great alternatives now.

keep it on the dl, dude...

Would you be able to privately message me with some said alternatives? I'm dying in the post-what era.

Perhaps someone should painstakingly make a catalog of the internal web stacks of SV companies for people who love code.

I'm sure that "library of Alexandria" would be burned quite quickly.

You're trying to make a snarky comment, but this is exactly what patents are supposed to do...

Reveal how inventions and large companies work, as opposed to the old cloak-and-dagger method of 'secret formulas' and such. Then allowing anybody to see the method and licence it from the company, or be liable for a lawsuit.

What we used to have is if somebody somehow stole the secret to an invention it became fair game. Nowadays though companies try to game the system by having intentionally labrinthian patchworks of patents that do their best to not reveal anything about how the invention works while still being able to be used to sue people.

Doesn't https://builtwith.com do that already?

> I'm sure that "library of Alexandria" would be burned quite quickly.

Rightly so-- and nothing of value would be lost. SV companies don't have much in the way of "secret sauce", they just have $$$ to burn (from VC weenies buying equity stakes) for hosting costs and for developing increasingly-crappy web frontends.

Thus, but unironically.

Alternatively this: https://stackshare.io

Soulseek is still pretty solid

A lot of it was about album collecting which frankly is not working the same anymore

Personally I am sad iOS poorly supports listening mixes plus Soundcloud slowly destroying itself...

Soulseek is great, but you're essentially taking a gamble hoping that you aren't downloading some shitty transcode.

fs trigger to check actual bitrate could help

Mind explaining what this is? All I'm seeing are results for Jenkins plugins...

OLGA was full of transcribed songs, great for learning guitar. Now it's gone.


Well, they weren't torrent sites in the late 90s and probably not the early 2000s either. The Bittorrent protocol wasn't released until July 2001 and it took a few years to get popular.

Back then, they were just servers you downloaded stuff from.

Napster started in 1999. Search was centralised, but downloads were p2p.

Edit: it shut down in 2001, and everyone I knew at the time was using it. vanderZwan might have misused the word torrent, but the rest of his post is spot on.

SuprNova started in 2nd half od 2002. Anime subbing groups also started offerin torrents very early.

I forgot about SuprNova. That site had me pushing my 10gb cap every month

>And then it all was destroyed.

We still have communities like that, but you need the right connections to get in.

So, like the warez d00dz of old? That's to be expected I suppose, but not really what parent poster was talking about!

Nah, not the WaReZ scene (which is also very much alive), but the private torrent trackers, like HDBits, redacted, passthepopcorn, etc.

torrent.ru still is excellent for music, as long as you manage to register despite the cyrillic text.

RIP Oink.me :(

OK, since it looks like these libraries are going down after all, can we systematically download the content in them that's verifiably in the public domain, and upload it to the Internet Archive so that it becomes legitimately available and findable? There's a lot of such stuff that gets entirely fraudulent copyright claims tacked on to it, or claims that might apply only to supplemental matter (especially prefaces) that can be stripped out of a (DRM-free!) PDF file. And if something was first published before the late 19th century, it's quite obviously PD even in "life+X" countries where it might be hard to find info about all the people who could've had a hand in it back then.

My issue with this is that in a way it gives strength to their argument - i.e. segregation reinforces the concept of there being a fundamental difference between the two groups.

Well, practically, there absolutely is a difference. You can host above-board content any way you like, even on things like IPFS, and tell anyone who makes fraudulent copyright claims about it to sod off-- but if you're not being totally above-board, you won't get that luxury. It's a very different trade-off compared to the likes of SH and LG, and one that's quite valuable.

No, you still get that luxury.

Just until the people with guns come.

I hope these are archived as they accrete content. Assembling and torrenting sub-petabyte archives can't be easy, but it beats stirring the ashes of a digital Alexandria to find snippets of knowledge.

Donating to Sci-Hub today.

You could argue that the internet itself is the greatest library we've ever had and over the past decade, the internet has been slowly destroyed. The saddest part is that it isn't the luddites or religious fundamentalists behind the destruction of knowledge and the internet. It's politicians, journalists and CEOs behind the incredible push to "clean up" the internet. The internet went from an anonymous information sharing space to a pathetic censored version of facebook/twitter/google.

>(...) but more effective measures will follow if we don't change the political willingness to withhold knowledge from the masses.

The EU just passed the directive for the new copyright package which further cements the status quo (the two often mentioned articles are just the worst of it), so don't expect any progress if people don't start to elect more progressive politicians.

The projections for the EU election show that the shares of the fractions won't change much, beside a slight shift to the right. The composition of the Conservative wing, however, will become more Euroskeptic and nationalistic.

And from an economic perspective, I don't see any big shift towards more consumer-oriented party programs, while the right-wing generally tends to be liberal(classical), or neoliberal even, anyway.

P.S.: To avoid DNS blocking, use a DNS server from a private party; and since in some countries such data streams are manipulated, use encrypted DNS to ensure integrity. https://dnscrypt.info/faq

>In 2018, support [for the copyright directive] in the European Parliament was led by the European People's Party group and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, the parliament's two largest groups

>Opposition in the European Parliament is led by populist parties including Poland's ruling Law and Justice party, Italy's ruling Five Star Movement/Lega Nord coalition, and the UK Independence Party. Other opponents include a large number of smaller parties at either end of the political spectrum.[66][72] Notable among these is the Pirate Party Germany, whose sole MEP Julia Reda has been an outspoken opponent of the proposal.[73]


Your political position is evaluated based on your actual opinion and decisions, not just what you announce yourself to be.

I did not orientate my statement based on party names and official affiliations, but the overall political and economical nature and priorities of the copyright directive and actual policies the EP fractions vote for.

I don't know about other countries, but in Spain the left wing is the best friend of the copyright lobby.

Are they "left-wing" or socially left neoliberals.

There is a difference between "left-wing" as in economic AND social leftism vs the sort of neoliberal, "Third Way" politics, which equal socially left-wing, but economically center-right.

Most of the "social democratic" parties in Europe are that way these days. They don't really champion economic populism, wealth redistribution etc.

I'm not sure what you mean with "socially left-wing". Is that something that doesn't cost money?

And IMO there are no (neo)liberals in Spain, if you listen to facts instead of words.

Every party currently in Parliament is big-state. PP raised taxes over Zapatero levels and public expenses even more, systematically breaking expense limits every single year they were in government.

> I'm not sure what you mean with "socially left-wing".

They're pro choice, pro LGBTQ etc. but also very much pro things like privatization.

As for "Is that something that doesn't cost money?" - that's a childish question that is almost not worth answering. Maintaining a functioning society always costs money, there's infrastructure & services to maintain.

Taxes are going to get collected, so for me the only real question is if they're going to be spent on moving the country forward, supporting those in need of support and improving services, (healthcare etc.) & infrastructure, (bridges, roads...), making sure publicly funded research stays public, going after corporate tax evasion and so on... or if they're going to be spent on bloated military contracts etc.

Sadly, the supposed left-wing in most of Europe today is not focusing on healthcare, infrastructure etc. in a major way and thus the distinction between them and the right seems rather thin. They're both fairly pro-corporate, thus the main distinction is the social politics, which rarely address people's economic concerns.

As for big state, I don't know, Mariano Rajoy, a right-winger was willing to send "the State" to violently suppress an independence referendum. Not sure how that squares with you.

...that's a childish question that is almost not worth answering

Wow, thank you. That actually saves me time. Once somebody answers like that, it's clear that any effort to reason would be a waste.

You do you, I just wish you were more honest in also quoting what was this reaction to & my reasoning for saying that. On the other hand, that may lead you to stop saying nonsense like that in the first place.

Also from Finland, the left wing (Social Democrat, Left Alliance) MEPs voted in favor of Article 13 recently.

It is clear reading your comment that you do this transformation in your head automatically:

Progressive = Left = Good

Right = Bad

I don't believe that the access to what public funding pays (public research) is intrinsically linked to the left, quite the opposite.

In the past for example while the US published a lot of information in public journals, Soviet Russia was very secretive about theirs(while benefiting from the West). US was not leftist than Soviet Russia.

While the left wants to link themselves to the idea of "progress", hence the auto denominated name "progressive", I don't see the progress anywhere after watching the process take action in Europe multiple times(North Americans have not experienced real left in power), quite the opposite.

The left wants to create a monster State. Once in place individuals have no power at all. Everything is controlled top down and as there is only one entity, there is no competition.

There is way more risk of "regulatory capture" when there is only one entity than when competition exist. Journals ownership of what public funding pays is a case of regulatory capture.

Scientists should demand their work to be in the open, or it will not really be science.

AsyncAwait have a point here, the comment start with a "don't fall into simplistic extreme dualism.

Neither brightest human achievements nor genocide happen only under a single political orientation flag.

There are people that are admirably altruist and awesomely creative regardless of the main political forces going on where they live. And there are people seeking to concentrate always more power for themselves regardless of socioeconomic consequences for others under any flag of the day which would serve this purpose.

> The left wants to create a monster State. Once in place individuals have no power at all. Everything is controlled top down and as there is only one entity, there is no competition

You started by criticizing a simplistic analysis of Left == good, Right == bad, but you just flipped Right == good, Left == bad and offered such a juvenile, simplistic analysis, it's honestly laughable.

When it comes to the left, you'd have to distinguish between neoliberals, (socially left, economically centre-right), which is who's been in power in Europe when it comes to the left. You fail to realize that there is a thing called "left-wing libertarianism", in fact libertarianism originated with the left and most people, apart from Americans, understood libertarianism to be left-wing.

There's no "monster State" advocated there. It's more about ensuring equality of opportunity, (not outcome(!)), promoting cooperatives etc. In reality, these would be beneficial for competition, because it promotes more people being able to take the risk of having a business, since there's a social safety net.

What if we look at the sitiuation from publishers' point of view? Yesterday those weird scientints gave to you the rights to their works, and the next day they demand that you allow them to read their works for free.

> Yesterday those weird scientints gave to you the rights to their works.

Yesterday there weren't any, let alone good, alternatives. Even today with good alternatives, the way publishing in "high impact" journals is tied to pay can make the issue not really have other options.

Free access to knowledge is fairly foundational to science and something that's has been talked about for a while. This isn't a new problem. It comes as a surprise to no one.

This is doubly true given the amount of government money spent on this research that is then being kept from the public.

In the UK all research councils and the National Institute for Health Research awards carry restrictions that everything is made open access. It is a step in the right direction but it also means that more government funding is just going to journals via paying article processing charges

But today, even with alternatives present, scientists still give away or sell their rights to the journals.

The scientists are often paid be the government. So it is the government that creates this situation and makes "high impact" journals what they are. It is the government that doesn't mandate free access to the knowledge.

The thing is: as long as you do not have tenure, you simply CANNOT fight. At least in a meaningful way.

My case, by the way.

Yes, I covered that in my response. Alternatives exist, but can't be used in circumstances where your career may be on the line.

I agree, however, that receiving government funding should require open access publishing.

>The court order targets a total of 57 domain names, including various mirror sites. The academic publishers had asked the court for a more flexible blocklist, which they could update whenever new domains would become available, but this was denied. If the publishers want to expand the blocklist, they will have to go back to court. This ensures that there remains judicial oversight over local website blockades. Also, a request for a specific IP-address block was denied.

So a DNS level block... This should help to educate some French users on what a DNS is, and steer some of them away from using their ISP provided DNS servers.

Its always DNS first and everyone says "lol, just change your DNS" and then they start doing real blocks. Optus in Australia did an IP level block of 4chan recently.

How? 4chan use Cloudflare. They don't have a dedicated IP, do they?

I would be surprised if Optus actually managed to do SNI filtering for the entire country without screwing it up.

Edit: Huh, seems like they do have a dedicated IP. At least both Robtex and Securitytrails report them as the only tenant on their IP. But you can /etc/hosts 4chan.org to a different Cloudflare IP, and CF will still SNI-route it to the real site. That would defeat any IP address-based block.

If I remember correctly, Cloudflare assigns different IPs to different sites, so you can use blocking by IP, but of course in this case you will also block other sites using the same Cloudflare server.

I have also written how the site can try to bypass the blocking: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19552689

Yeah, everyone is so defiant that they don't realize that IP and VPN blocks are coming if we continue down this road.

The UK is already there.

My VPN was blocked recently and I had to go to my network provider with my ID to prove my age(?!) so I could access my VPN again. I was not impressed.

What ISP are you on? BT blocks libgen but NordVPN seems to work just fine.

Of course if they block the whole VPN list you can just rent a tiny instance in a cloud somewhere, though that seems like enough work to bother most non techies.

At that point it would be better to roll your own and use ports 22 or 443.

I guess this is the point where you leave the general public behind. Lucky you.

Which fits fantastically in the discussion over at the San Diego Streetlight surveillance and the "Software engineers social responsibility"[1] vs. the fact that it will get worse if you make it mainstream.

Interesting times.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19545668

Hopefully projects like Streisand [1] continue to be worked on - they automate a lot of the hassle of setting up services like this. Ideally they will eventually be easy enough for your grandpa to use.

[1] https://github.com/StreisandEffect/streisand

This is what I’m doing. Linode box.

Probably it's worth not blocking you for that, just add you to a list as a person of interest.

What ISP and VPN was that?

You’re probably on a major ISP. Only the major ones in the UK are blocked and regulated. The smaller ones aren’t deemed as important.

Unfortunately the minor ISPs are almost 3-fold slower in most places, while being just as expensive. My options are between Virgin, which has speeds of up to 362mB fibre for £42/month, and the next best BT, which is 67mB for £39.99/ month. At uni, unless I wanted 30mB for a 7 person household, my only option was again Virgin.

It's difficult not to be on a major ISP when the minor ISPs can't contest on speed and value for money.

I spent years with 5 people on 12mbit ADSL2. I'd rather have that than virgin and blocking any day. I suffered Virgin for a couple of years and it was hell.

Now I'm on ~64mbit VDSL with no blocking at all on Zen. We pull 500G+ a month through it. Costs £37.49 a month.

They just rolled out 300mbit fibre as well so that's going in next month.

Speed isn't everything for me. I can QoS those problems away pretty well.

We switched service providers 3 times during that year. We started with a 30mbit connection through PlusNet, then 60 with EE, then 300 Virgin. The only one that was usable was Virgin Media. I wish that wasn't that case, but it simply was. Internet was a contentious topic in our house, but having 7 people either playing games, watching HD movies, or streaming simultaneously knocked most ISPs down swiftly.

plusnet and EE are turds. Total turds. The worst of all of them to be honest apart from possibly Talk Talk.

I've been with Plusnet for 4 years or so now, and I've nothing but good things to say about them.

Apart from their mobile offering - plenty of bad things to say about that!

> I spent years with 5 people on 12mbit ADSL2. I'd rather have that than virgin and blocking any day.

Try doing that today with 5 people all trying to watch Netflix. That wasn't a thing back in 2002.

I've got virgin at uni right now and while the headline speeds are great, it's absolutely useless at peak times. Not worth it IMHO.

I'm only talking 2 years ago. And we do have netflix and it's simply tough shit!

In 2002, I had 1mbit.

I'm with Uno Broadband who sell BT fibre lines (so upto 70 down/20 up) for around £40 a month with no blocks or restrictions and a static IP. No download limits to speak of either as I can easily hit 2TB download a month.

They fix stuff quickly too, I'd recommend em.

To be annoying - milli Bels of speed? I've never seen anyone write it like this before, it's MB for megabytes, and Mb for megabits, mB is a different unit altogether.

Should be Mb. Project deadlines mean sleep deprived Hacker News procrastination comments.

Perhaps the poster has a new MacBook Air with butterfly keyboard? :)

On your mobile? I don't know anyone else who's had that problem so it'd be interesting to know who..

What VPN was blocked?

This is what Merkel meant with "Neuland"(engl. uncharted territory) in 2013.

In Germany she is heavily mocked for not understanding the Internet. Of course, it's the bright populace of high class forums such as Facebook and r/de who know better than the Physicist Chancellor of a G7 nation...

In reality, she meant it is legal Neuland. That authorities and courts had little established ways of enforcing laws online, that even heavily illegal acts were difficult to process and prosecute.

Now we are getting there. The law catches up with the Internet. If we want a free Sci-Hub and free content sharing, then it's the law that we have to adapt. Because governments already adapt their procedures - the online Wild West is over.

Kind of feels like "civilization" creeping into the Old West.

Thing is, it's the fact that is a legal "Neuland" that it's a great place.

What if you use your phone line to organize a crime? Is that a problem? Should we add word recognition to phone line to make sure this doesn't happen? Should we limit it to a series of specific words?

This would break phone usage.

The same apply to internet, except that it can do even more. The only ways to make sure theses criminal activities doesn't happen would be to limit how it can be used which break everything.

> What if you use your phone line to organize a crime? Is that a problem? Should we add word recognition to phone line to make sure this doesn't happen? Should we limit it to a series of specific words?

Somewhere out there someone read this and thought "wow that's a great idea"

Isn't this what the "dark web" is for? True, some sites have been taken down but as I understand that was more due to poor opsec than a flaw with the technology itself.

I for one have no faith in educating the government as long as companies with multi-million-dollar lobbying budgets are free to sway politicians to legislate in their favor. Happy to be convinced otherwise, though.

not really. as a citizen of somewhere you'll always be subject to laws. dark web could help people evade the law a little longer but won't make it legal, as such law abiding citizen will not want to have themselves associated with it for the fear of repercussions down the road.

the only long term solution is to change the laws, not to work around them, but we don't have the economic power to balance the lobbies anymore.

Sorry if this sounds stupid, but I don't know much about 4chan - why block 4chan?

4chan is a relatively popular anonymous image board, based on a Japanese language image board (2ch) but with mostly English language users. It's administration are known to be quite lax with content; if it's not outright illegal to host they'll generally let it slide in their NSFW boards. To use a recent example, their Adult GIF board right now, while flooded mostly with pornography, is currently housing uncensored footage from the recent mass shooting.

Thanks to the lack of user accounts needed to use the site, pretty much everyone checks their social filter at the door, and it's earned some unfavorable comparisons. Given its reputation I'm not surprised to hear it's the subject of censorship.

There's a huge irony here in that major news outlets in Australia including Rupert Murdochs SkyNews all showed uncensored footage, some of it autoplaying and profited from doing so.


Were their sites blocked?

Blocking materials is the incorrect way to deradicalize people. I would further argue that by blocking it, the material is made to seem more scarce, and even more desirable for those who would otherwise not have been interested if it hadn't been blocked!

Outreach from social workers and societal safety net is the best way to prevent radicalization. I see legalization of drugs as an example.

I think there are many good reasons to block that video that have nothing to do with radicalisation. For a start this is footage of the deaths of dozens of people who, along with their families, have a right to privacy.

Nothing you described justifies a block.

New Zealand and Australia recently went on a "do something" tear regarding the mosque shooting. Sites where the video or manifesto was posted got blocked, including 4chan. And yes, you read that right, New Zealand made it a crime to distribute a specific piece of text data.

They also blocked Dissenter, a comments system which doesn’t host anything or even allow image uploads.

Which if you read that "specific piece of text data" is the outcome the murderer wanted. They responded exactly how he desired.

Who cares about what that guy wanted or didn't want. The question is whether we should let people distribute his manifesto for the sake of freedom of expression or if we consider it to be dangerous and worthy of a ban. The opinion of the guy who committed this heinous crime is frankly irrelevant IMO.

If I was to commit some atrocities tomorrow and write a pamphlet outlining my motive and calling for others to do the same thing while adding a note saying "look, they'll try to censor this!" will you, out of principle, argue that my manifesto shouldn't be censured because that's what I would've wanted? If so, why?

> The question is whether we should let people distribute his manifesto for the sake of freedom of expression or if we consider it to be dangerous and worthy of a ban.

Speaking as a us citizen, that is crazy talk. Why should the government be let to decide what is "too dangerous" for me to read? It seems incredible that first world democracies still engage in that kind of censorship.

What you describe is the USA way, but it's not how it's done in many (most?) places around the world. There are plenty of things you could say in the USA that would be illegal hate speech in most of Europe. Conversely showing a female nipple is taboo in the Land of the Free, while it's mostly not a big deal in western Europe. This is actually the source of many problems with the governance of the web since most high-profile websites tend to conform to American codes (which means that you can't post "the origin of the world" by Gustave Courbet on Facebook, but you can post racist comments all day long).

Obviously the risk is not that reasonably educated HN readers could stumble upon this manifesto and start a massacre, the risk is that the material could be used as propaganda to brainwash more easily-influenced people. People become radicalized on the web, actually the shooter himself kept spouting "memes" straight from /pol/ and other alt-right websites. Similarly many Islamist terrorists who carried attacks in recent years also radicalized online, feeding on propaganda websites and fake news.

Does banning 4chan or the manifesto achieve anything? I'm not sure. But dismissing any attempt to curb this very real problem as "crazy talk" is not really constructive criticism.

> the risk is that the material could be used as propaganda to brainwash more easily-influenced people.

You can literally make the same argument against fox or Breitbart. Or cnn, nyt, wapo as the president continuously tries to. He should remind you why the government should have limited powers.

And yes, the general fear of sex and sexual is maddening and counter productive.

I have no issue at all drawing a line between Breitbart and a mass murderer manifesto. I find this "slippery slope" rhetoric rather disingenuous and non-constructive. With this type of argument you can shoot down any law, any power given to the government. "First they force you to wear seat-belts and the next thing you know you live in communist dystopia".

I guess it makes sense if you're a libertarian/anarchist or something in this vicinity but if that's the case this discussion has been rehashed millions of times before and I don't think we'll find a common ground here.

I would rather live in a country where fifty people are shot by a madman every year than one in which 3,395 people are arrested every year for "offensive" online comments, which was the UK in 2018. If these restrictions were being imposed by an outside power we would gladly spend fifty lives a day in a war to prevent it. Principles are more important than comfort. Praise Talos.

As a French citizen, this is nothing new in principle: we already had law that forbid negationist material and so on. That makes nothing for social peace of course, it only brings more weight to the "see how they try to hide you the truth" bullshit.

But this seems to clearly intensify. We now have laws passed "to regulate things against Fake News during election period"[1], in a climate of already large distrust of population against politics.

It's really unclear how this plain censorship is not replaced with a mandatory warning, which would give the opportunity to let people judge by themselves (or at least decide to trust the authority that the material doesn't worth their attention).

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikim%C3%A9dia_France/Fausse...

Just because something is not illegal does not mean that society need to be tolerant of it. E.g. I she'd no tears for the neonazis who lost their jobs after being outed in Charlottesville [1] (though I don't support through name and shame that brought it about). However, I don't think it's correct for the government to censor their writings.

Another instance, I think fox and Breitbart are scourges for their disinformation campaign (not that they're "conservative" or have an "agenda", the wsj is also conservative and has an agenda), but making them illegal is a line too far. It provides too much power to a government who already has too much.

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2017/08/14/charl...

Eh, if a murderous white supremacist has a strategy we should at least ask if the strategy can work before we exactly play into it.

You're giving a lot of credit to a meme-spouting serial killer. It's not like as if it was step 34 of his master plan, he merely got a gun and started shooting at innocent people. I'll take my chances and keep ignoring him and not giving him a platform.

In my opinion his main objective was to get attention and put his nauseous ideology in the spotlight. I don't know if banning it is the right solution but frankly I won't waste my time playing devil's advocate for a mass murderer.

"First they came for the terrorists and I did nothing because I wasn't a terrorist... And nothing of value was lost".

> I'll take my chances and keep ignoring him and not giving him a platform.

Hopefully society will not do that.

The content might be repulsive but we are better off knowing how they think than allowing only them to know the contents.

Crazy manifestos are probably just like weapons in this regard, ordinary people won't care to get one if they are illegal, bad guys will.

As a kid I got a good explanation of how badly certain ideologies failed even if they looked reasonable.

I also got an intro to safe handling of guns, especially the part about never ever pointing a gun at anyone, loaded or not, except in wartime. I was quite young then but it sticks, like a whole lot of other stuff from my childhood.

I'll try to give that to the next generation together, together with an explanation of how insanely stupid such manifestos are - and a crash course in unarmed fighting (disable or confuse opponent, get away).

Young people should know what exists or it will take them by surprise.

> "First they came for the terrorists and I did nothing because I wasn't a terrorist... And nothing of value was lost".

Definitions of "terrorist" differs and while I and you can agree on this and many others I really really don't want to have more power than necessary in the hands of any government.

Read history and you'll see that most cruelties in the last few hundred years were commited by states against their own citizens, not by random blokes with weapons.

The "this is what they wanted" argument is always something that rings alarm bells in my head; it sounds like the "it's a slippery slope" wolf in sheep's clothing.

You hear it a lot, but in this case he pretty much outlined it in his manifesto.

Why are you taking his word at face value? What he really wants is to spread his propaganda. He is just trying to use reverse psychology to make you do just that.

They wanted to block the diffusion of the video showing the Mosque shooting and the distribution of the killer's manifesto. Since it was being spammed on 4chan rather relentlessly they decided to pull the plug on the website basically.

I wonder if they'd also block, say, Wikipedia for linking to working IP addresses, or sites like https://whereisscihub.now.sh/go that automatically redirect you to them.

In Germany, linking to illegal content is also illegal (IANAL), so they could sue Wikipedia or whereisscihub.now.

Does the link have to be directly to the illegal content, or just to a domain that supplies illegal content somewhere on the domain? The SciHub homepage is not itself illegal content.

The topic is so murky that I don't think anybody can tell with any certainty. The German Wikipedia has an article that discusses the issue a bit https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zul%C3%A4ssigkeit_von_und_Haft...

Good luck trying to make Cloudflare (, Google ( or Quad9 ( to make exceptions for a single geographical area. =)

I'm not sure whether you are being sarcastic. Don't you think they would cooperate just fine if it would make business sense for them?

They don't have to cooperate. As in the title, only the ISP DNS enforce this.

I suppose the gov could ip block and just as easily.

Is "too big to block" a thing yet? Services like Signal were certainly relying on this via their domain fronting technique.

they certainly are not too big to fine.

that would be the end result, put the onus on the DNS providers. who needs to China to disrupt the net when the West is just fine doing it on its own.

They can themselves be blocked.

If a court orders it, what are they going to do? Do you think Google would give up the EU market over Scihub?

You mispelt give up the entire internet. If every country dictates how every server in every other country is supposed to function then it will be pretty much impossible for anyone to operate.

Any filtering gets to happen inbound to that country unless you want to only view content that is legal in turkey, Israel, Pakistan,Uzbekistan, south africa, Russia, the US and insert another 60 names here.

We already have a way to handle different DNS results for different sub sections of the populace. They can run their own DNS servers and mandate that their users use them blocking alternatives if they so desire.

Returning different query results bases on the IP of the query sender is not magic. Couple that with location bases routing to thw nearest instance of a DNS server responding at or and you have nice and reasonably reliable segmentation based on the user's location. Nothing about that tech is magic and most of it is likely already implemented. So your doomsday scenario does not hold.

They would definitely obey yes, they have offices in Paris. In France they regularly have to filter some results too since companies don't hesitate to sue for libel against negative results on first page.

yeah people keep touting "internet routes around censorship" and other platitudes with no grounding in reality, meanwhile European are already under illiberal regimes where the information if thoroughly controlled by the wealthy and the powerful.

we are literally at the point where European citizens need to engage in doublespeak on certain topics for the fear of harassment from people abusing the legal system, and it's getting words faster by the day

Those are mirrored around the world and likely physically inside France. You don't want trans-Atlantic latency on your DNS lookups.

The court order is aimed at ISPs and it's trivial for the latter to proxy all DNS traffic on their edge and NXDOMAIN court-ordered domains regardless of the resolver used.

DNS over HTTPS can't happen soon enough. Even if it is a weird hack around DNSSEC's problems.

DNS is hard coded on my Orange Livebox. This is new.

And changing the DNS under my Ubuntu box was far from trivial. It is only possible to change the secondary DNS in the connection UI. I had to use a reduced version of DHCP (IP address only) and change /etc/resolv.conf.

Be careful with resolv.conf. network manager and others like to overwrite it.

> The court sided with the ISPs, who argued that they should have the freedom to choose their own blocking method, including DNS blocking

That sounds like DPI and rewriting upstream DNS responses is not excluded though. If that gets implemented, it doesn't matter which server you choose.

Or to use Tor, or to use the Telegram bot...

I can confirm that "The Tor Browser" works perfectly for libgen.

I even get better access (but my ISP is often shitty). I woould not have tried Tor, but for this block.

There is a telegram bot for sci-hub?


Much more convenient than the web interface, if you ask me. And without the problem of remembering the right URL.

Bought a book on GooglePlay once. Wanted to download it as an ePub. ePub wasn't available due to a technical error on Google's side (apparently affecting all epubs). Had to use Adobe Digital Editions to "download" it only to figure out the download wasn't available. + DRMs (i.e. can't read the ebook on a smartphone).

Went to libgen instead, will never buy a book on GooglePlay again.

I begrudgingly bought an ebook from google once. I knew there was DRM, but the store page said I could read it in my browser.

google-chrome != browser


Same. Except I didn't know about Libgen so I spun up a windows vm and installed some dubious software to extract the epub.

How long did the ePub error last?

Seems like it is gone now (you still have to juggle with DRMs though). However when it happened I searched for the error code and found some posts on Google forums. They were 6 months to 1 year old, with no provided solution.

When did this happen? Maybe it affected limited number of users. I use google play books all the time and this was never an issue for me.

Here we are in the "age of information" and there is still no way to distinguish between the shill and/or troll and the genuine information provider. Glorious.

This age of electronics and logic and AI should have been able to provide a reasonable benefit to consumers at the very bottom. Instead, corporations have found new ways to rig things, impersonate people, and generally be dishonest about the quality and effectiveness of their offerings.

And with this news, millions of French now become aware of these tempting sites they wouldn't otherwise even know about. (And Google methods of alternative access.) #streisandeffect

With a lot of proxies (in the linked document (french) [0]) I didn't know about; perfect!

[0]: https://torrentfreak.com/images/scihuborder.pdf

Also it feels so old-school to see the same list 4 times in the juristic document.

Yeah.. which will be printed a couple dozen times (with I guess most of the copies ending up never being read?).

Never heard of https://unblocked.krd - cool site.

Thanks Elsevier & Springer!

Could be, yes. Although I'm always struck how the French are just unknowledgeable of huge swathes of the english-speaking internet (me included, sometimes). Because it is english-speaking, for that matter.

How difficult would it be to host one or more IPFS nodes with the files on Sci-Hub (and a directory thereof)? My understanding is that would be infeasible to block, and quite probably cheaper to host, as oft-requested papers would get mirrored.

If you have access to a cloud service/servers, you don’t even need to do that. Your server is on the other side of these blocks, just rent a VM for a few minutes, RDP/VNC into it and surf the web without any ISP constraint.

Yeah, my concern is for if/when Sci-Hub's servers get taken down in their hosting country.

An IPFS node would help significantly more people with a much lower overhead, however. :)

Hard to block, yes, but the problem would be to find people who'd publicly share a copy or parts of scihub from their IP address.

I was just thinking about a solution for this. What if two users share files A and B, where both A and B look like noise, but when XOR-ed, they form the copyrighted work? Both users can claim plausible deniability. Especially if A XOR-ed with another file C results in a copyright-free work (and similarly for B and another file D).

Have you ever read "What colour are your bits"[0]? It discusses this idea a bit.

[0] https://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/23

I've been seeding libgen torrents for quite a while from home without problem while many I know get desist letters from their ISP for downloading a single Disney movie.

I look forward to seeing this kind of use case on ethereum swarm when it is ready. It has built in anonymity for the person hosting and downloading any content. It also has incentive structure to continue hosting content built in as well. Otherwise very similar to IPFS.

AIUI, ipfs is not "infeasible" to block - so it's nowhere close to an actual "solution". You'd also get the same sort of copyright trolling that you have with Bittorrent downloads today - the technologies are quite comparable.

They're also available as torrents - how easy are those to block?

Would be an interesting experiment / use case for IPFS.

ok, so how do we do this?

Note that French universities use the public RENATER provider, which do not block, for now. More great technical details in a blog post by Rémy Grünblatt [1]. He use the RIPE Atlas network to probe.

[1] https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&u=https%3...

Why do the French have such a hard-on for copyright enforcement? (Honest question)

The French really love their language, traditional publishers continue to publish in French whereas new-tech is more often in English or other languages.

So I'd argue that the French have a love-affair with traditional publishing, and traditional publishing loves draconian copyright rules.

The whole thing is almost a culture war for the French people's soul by-proxy.

> The French really love their language, traditional publishers continue to publish in French whereas new-tech is more often in English or other languages.

This sentence is ridiculous and has nothing to do with scihub and libgen. Most french researchers are perfectly happy using these sites, and dislike strongly the draconian schemes of scientific journal publishers (which publish texts mostly in english). Several people are pushing for french university libraries to stop paying subscriptions to journals and give all that money directly to scihub. Yet, these initiatives are always blocked at higher levels.

Yes, few facts to support this claim: the french are big consumers of SciHub content (biggest in the EU [1]) and the CNRS (one of the main french national scientific organization) has boycotted traditional publishers on several occasions (e.g. Springer [2]). The CNRS also supports Hal which is the french equivalent of arXiv.

I think this has more to do with the copyright lobby than anything else.

[1] https://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/visuel/2016/05/10/edition-sc... (in french)

[2] https://www.the-scientist.com/daily-news/french-universities...

[3] https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

> This sentence is ridiculous and has nothing to do with scihub and libgen.

But everything to do with the French government's attitude towards traditional publishers and why they work so closely together. This issue doesn't begin and end with research publishing, it is bigger and older than that.

Calling something "ridiculous" simply because you want a black & white answer to a larger complex cultural phenomenon is a little disappointing.

> The French really love their language

Well, someone has to.

so pride is killing their ability to access information.

In this case I have no pity for them, then. If they want to feel better about themselves by cutting off their own ears because other people are using English then let them.

France has one of the best copyright protection laws that I know, but unfortunately that has to go both ways (no that I agree with the ruling).

Now please don't consider this ruling as one made by the actual researchers, especially the younger ones that had a decent English education and sees no problem using English material.

I don't think it's specific to France. UK has random torrent websites banned the same way. Some regulation comes from EU, which has then been implemented by countries in EU: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Directive

Publishers used the existing laws to get this ban, as they already did in other countries. I wouldn't be surprised they've started some similar actions in other countries and will end up with similar results.

Honestly, almost every country has copyright laws, so allow this kind of lawsuit.

Same reason as Germany: a large copyright lobby.

it's really not as bad as Germany though.

In Germany they still go after you if you get caught downloading torrents. The French had a three strike rule but I think they've done away with it and went after pirated content providers instead. Which is why we probably have article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive now.


I think a bit less than the US, because we don't have Disney or Hollywood in general, but it's still pretty high.

Wasnt the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act" which extended copyright in the US was to harmonize with the copyright extensions in the EU? And "Unlike copyright extension legislation in the European Union, the Sonny Bono Act did not revive copyrights that had already expired."


I know some copyright stuff in Europe has been under influence of American companies. And also when the EU tried to reclaim the name of some cheeses and wines, there was some horse trading with the movie industrie.

It's a part of the French literary and artistic tradition. In France (and elsewhere on the Continent), authors and artists are considered to have inherent rights to their work that are stronger than normal copyright, including the right to be named as the author and the perpetual right (transmissible to heirs after death) to control how their work is presented and consumed to some extent -- hence the phrase droits d'auteur (authors' rights).

I think it's fair to say in France that something will "strictly forbidden" (formellement interdit) and by and large ignored, except when a real problem arises or an example is to be made.

Most of Western Europe does. With most of our production having moved to other countries, we rely on our ability to produce and own intellectual property.

Without strong copyrights we would have nothing to trade.

French here. My understanding is that we have a nationally powerful publishing industry (books, movies, music), thus a powerful pro-copyright lobby.

I guess because it's the law, and governments are supposed to enforce the law.

I'm slightly baffled by the difference, though, as some other laws are not enforced. For instance, the case where directors of a tyre manufacturer were forcibly taken hostage and physically abused by the workers. Normally, you'd send in the police, arrest hostage-takers and give them long imprisonment.

You're implying that the hostage takers where not arrested or given imprisonment, but in the case of the Goodyear employees they were arrested and sentenced to 24 months imprisonment (15 months suspended).

That's what the victim party had asked for too, so I don't understand what problem there is with this judgment?

Thanks - I did not know that. The hostage-taking did make headlines internationally, any subsequent trial less so.

Just like when your employer commits wage theft, you call the police, they drive over, taze your boss, put him in handcuffs, and book him?

After all, that's what I would expect should happen to a regular thief.

Do you also expect that industrial executives, managers, and everyone down to the line workers get booked on terrorism charges, for poisoning our water supplies, if they are caught illegally polluting?

"Do you also expect that industrial executives, managers, and everyone down to the line workers get booked on terrorism charges, for poisoning our water supplies, if they are caught illegally polluting?"

Not the original poster, but Yes, of course. Who doesn't expect that?

> Who doesn't expect that?

People who have any experience with how the real world works.

At best, the company may get a token fine, with the people giving the orders, and carrying them out never getting held accountable.

At worst, much hooing and hawwing is had about how important <the industry> is, and how <the company> pinky swears that it will never do what they did again.

just because reality is ruined at the moment doesn't mean i shouldn't expect the law to work. plus, we get CEOs sent to jail all the time, so it's not like there's no precedent.

They have very big and powerful unions that could call for a general strike and paralyse the country. So rather than sending SWAT teams to shoot people, they negotiate.

Yes, that was appalling. I guess the directors were expecting the SWAT/GIGN to come, but hours passed and they had to sign documents, and the signature was deemed valid. I don’t even know if the directors were fed or could gonto the bathrooms during that hostage situation.

Torture at its best.

You don't have to look very hard to find better examples of "torture" than being kept for a whole day within an office (with access to the bathrooms obviously, nobody was forced to pee in their pants).

A whole week, if I remember.

Then again, when it’s not enforced and when you know how violent union people can be, you don’t know how long you’ll stay there, and if you will get out alive at all. You only know when it’s over.

What I’m furious about is that the signature should have been considered under duress. It was not.

Thats not a special property of France though.

People write laws. They're generally lobbied for.

Why doesn't France care as much about other laws?

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