Last week a website called “library.nu” disappeared. A coalition of international scholarly publishers accused the site of piracy and convinced a judge in Munich to shut it down. Library.nu (formerly Gigapedia) had offered, if the reports are to be believed, between 400,000 and a million digital books for free.
And not just any books - not romance novels or the latest best-sellers - but scholarly books: textbooks, secondary treatises, obscure monographs, biographical analyses, technical manuals, collections of cutting-edge research in engineering, mathematics, biology, social science and humanities.
I am heartbroken. I was just going to get a book on the sexual politics of meat for my self-education. Yes, the local library probably has it. But this was a library too, and I feel like my access to information is being killed in the name of the almighty dollar.