2024-06-18 19:53:03
Bodó B. (forthcoming):In the shadow of Gigapedia: quantitative analysis of shadow library usage. in: Karaganis (ed): Shadow libraries books/publications/Scrapbook

Aleph is currently the biggest online piratical collection of scholarly publications, with more than a million books, and tens of millions of journal articles. This chapter explores the question of the growth and impact of the Aleph network, via a close look at its collections and traffic. In so doing, we want to push the debate beyond the simple rhetoric of criminality and the accompanying claims of criminal profits made via these sites . Instead we want to better understand how these services operate, what publics they serve, and what harms to publishers and authors can be reasonably attributed to them. Aleph and its mirror sites infringe the copyrights on hundreds of thousands of works, potentially undercutting the market for those works. But they also respond to clear (and sometimes not so clear) market failures where work is unavailable or unaffordable, and play a role in the democratization of scientific and scholarly work. On what basis can we evaluate these trade offs? To date, there has been no substantive account of the shape, reach, or impact of these archives. This chapter takes some steps in that direction.

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