There’s always a Russian foot in the middle – the world’s largest illegal e-book library

There's always a Russian foot in the middle – the world's largest illegal e-book library

US federal law enforcement charged and charged two Russian individuals with criminal copyright infringement for creating and managing the Z-Library e-book. Z-Library, which has been around since 2009 before the US government shut down the site earlier this month, is known as “The world’s largest illegal e-book libraryIt was introduced.

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The story of the world’s largest illegal e-book library

According to the US Department of Justice, the couple in question, Anton Napolesky and Valeria Ermakova, were arrested in Argentina on November 3 at the request of the US government. In addition to copyright infringement, these two people are also facing charges of money laundering and fraud. The US government shut down and seized the domains associated with Z-Library at the time of their arrest, but Ars Technica reports that some users are still able to access the site on the dark web!

FBI Assistant Director Michael Driscoll said in a statement:

The defendants allegedly operated a website for more than a decade whose primary purpose was to provide stolen intellectual property, in violation of copyright laws. Their crimes of stealing intellectual property deprive their victims of both their ingenuity and their hard-earned income.

Z-Library contained more than 11 million illegal e-book titles and academic articles that users could download and read for free. Over the years, this site has been known as a resource for students who cannot afford expensive textbooks. News of the website’s shutdown made waves across social media earlier this month, with reports of the impact on college students and others who can’t afford access to educational materials hitting many websites.

There's always a Russian foot in the middle - the world's largest illegal e-book library

As noted by Vice, the arrests of Napolesky and Ermakova came shortly after the Writers Guild (an organization for authors that advocates for copyright protection) filed a complaint with the Office of the United States Trade Representative on October 7. The complaint points to a growing trend of users on TikTok promoting Z-Library as a way to get free books, noting that the hashtag “zlibrary” has more than 19 million hits on the platform.

It also points to another illegal e-book library, Libgen, and argues that both sites have an “incalculable and truly devastating” impact on the writing community.

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