Some thoughts on the current situation
Altho the publishers have recently made it more difficult than it was earlier to get ahold of ebooks, it is still possible. What the publishers have done is shut down library.nu the largest collection of links to cyberlockers. Also, the Megaupload take-down made many other cyberlockers disallow sharing of links. This means that one can only download a file from such sites when one is logged into the user which uploaded the file. This makes ebook sharing via such cyberlockers difficult. I can imagine a few ways around this.
First, one cud somehow arrange for a public profile that everybody uses to download files with. Unless it is supposed to work via mutual agreement not to change the password (won’t work!), there has to be some kind of way to enforce that the password won’t be changed. Perhaps use a cyberlocker that requires an email confirmation for a password change. Another problem with this is that it is centralized making it much easier to shut down. Even an automatic system that disables sharing for all files for a user if a few files uploaded by that user have been DMCA‘d wud make this approach unworkable.
Second, one cud go even further with the tactic previously used. The tactic previously used was to password protect the files uploaded. This makes any content ID anti-piracy approaches useless becus they can’t scan inside a password protected archive file. They thus had to rely on the file name, which can easily be auto-generated gibberish. The password to the files were then written on the sites with the links to the files. One cud simply further extend this approach to such sites writing both username and password to the user that uploaded the file. This permits one to avoid relying on a few users to upload the files, i.e., avoid centralization. However, it also works best if the passwords cannot be changed for the users without email confirmation.
Currently, i’m just waiting to see what the pirates will come up with to solve the situation. :)
Meanwhile, on the internet…
But ofc i haven’t stopped downloading ebooks in the meanwhile. So, which other ways are there? Well, there is still bit-torrent. One can both find books on public and private/semi-private trackers. I recommend using www.torrentz.eu for public torrents and something like www.librarypirate.me and http://www.torrentmybooks.com/ (mentioned on TorrentFreak) for semi-private.
There are also the resources mentioned in /lit/’s sticky. Altho this information is dated (still lists library.nu, for instance), it is still useful.
For public torrents, people have often made huge collections of books. This is becus ebooks take up very little space. For instance:
- Psychology Book Archive
- 25 Language Learning Packs Collection
- Language and Linguistics Collection Updated!
- Massive Linguistics Compilation
- Very Short Introductions 158 books
- Cambridge University Press Ebook Ultimate Pack 1193 Ebooks
Usually, these packs contain all major works within a given field. If one doesn’t need something very specific these work very well!