A third high-profile takedown in as many days: this week looks like a losing one for pirates. Notorious e-book platform Library.nu has been shut down, according to news reports. The website, in combination with cyber-locker ifile.it, hosted around 400,000 titles — mostly academic textbooks and popular fiction. Apparently, the operators received around €8m per year from donations, ads and premium accounts, though they claimed that most of this was spent on server costs.
Unsurprisingly, a consortium of publishers (including HarperCollins, Macmillan, Pearson, Oxford University Press and the International Publishers) led the take-down. For academic publishers, it cannot come too soon: Library.nu was notorious for releasing ‘lossless’ PDF copies of latest edition academic texts weeks before they were even released — presumably leaked from offshore printers and compositors. Unfortunately for publishers, numerous equivalent platforms continue to supply their copyright works with impunity.