US seizes Z-Library login domain, but secret URLs for each user remain active | Ars Technica

“US authorities have seized another major Z-Library domain but still haven’t been able to wipe the pirate book site off the Internet. Z-Library claims to offer over 13 million books, up from 11 million since US authorities launched their first major operation against Z-Library late last year.

“Unfortunately, one of our primary login domains was seized today,” Z-Library wrote in a Wednesday message on its Telegram account. “Therefore, we recommend using the domain to log in to your account, as well as to register. Please share this domain with others.”

In November, US authorities charged Russian nationals Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova with criminal copyright infringement, wire fraud, and money laundering for allegedly operating Z-Library. The US said at the time that it seized 250 “interrelated web domains” run by Z-Library and that Napolsky and Ermakova were arrested in Argentina at the request of the US government.

Other people continue to operate Z-Library, which remained available on the Tor network and returned to the clearnet in February with a new strategy of assigning personal, secret URLs to each user. Z-Library directed users to, where they could sign in with their login credentials and receive a unique URL to access the entire pirate library….”

Z-Library Plans to Let Users Share Physical Books Through ‘Z-Points’ * TorrentFreak

“Z-Library appears to be shrugging off a criminal investigation as if nothing ever happened. The site continues to develop its shadow library and, following a successful fundraiser, now plans to expand its services to the physical book market. Z-Library envisions a book ‘sharing’ market, where its millions of users can pick up paperbacks at dedicated “Z-Points” around the globe….”

Z-Library returns, aims to avoid seizures by giving each user a secret URL | Ars Technica

“Last fall, the US Department of Justice pushed the e-book pirate site Z-Library onto the dark web after charging its alleged operators with criminal copyright infringement, wire fraud, and money laundering. Back then, Z-Library users—including many college students who relied on the site as a source for free textbooks—weren’t sure if Z-Library would be able to keep operating. That’s why this weekend, thousands of Z-Library fans rejoiced when Z-Library officially staged its comeback on public-access Internet—by launching a universal login page and setting up secret personal domains for users.

A Z-Library blog post from Saturday viewed by 21,000 users announced the “great news” and prompted users to access Z-Library using their regular login credentials at a new link. Once users log in, they’re redirected to a personal domain they can use to access close to 12 million free e-books on Z-Library without using encrypted networks like Tor. A second domain is also sent by email….”

Z-Library Returns on the Clearnet in Full Hydra-Mode * TorrentFreak

“The U.S. Government’s crackdown against Z-Library late last year aimed to wipe out the pirate library for good. The criminal prosecution caused disruption but didn’t bring the site completely to its knees. Z-Library continued to operate on the dark web and this weekend, reappeared on the clearnet, offering a ‘unique’ domain name to all users….”

Z-Library now has secret “personal domains” for each user

“The controversial Z-Library online eBook repository has once again returned to the web, this time with secret user URLs that attempt to hinder disruption by law enforcement….

As first reported by TorrentFreak, Z-library announced on Saturday that the website is now available once again on clearnet sites using personalized domains for each member….

The domains are registered on different registrars worldwide, allowing Z-Library to issue various personal URLs to members and continue operating on the clearnet even if one is shut down.

However, while this may hinder law enforcement and copyright holders, it will not prevent these domains from being seized. This is especially true for the singlelogin domain, as that is the primary avenue for new members to join the service.

Due to this, Z-Library warns that if the singlogin page is unavailable, users can use Tor or I2P to access the service….”

Aaron Swartz and His Legacy of Internet Activism

“To build this future for our society, we need to adopt the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto to inverse the information asymmetry between citizens and Big Tech-Big Government. This can only happen if we build alternative networks of information infrastructures that support these ideas. These information networks can’t be built overnight, but we need to strive towards them. Sci-Hub and LibGen are some examples of these information infrastructures and not only do we need to support them, we need to build more of them.”

Anti-Piracy Group Warns of a Problematic Textbook Piracy Culture Among Students * TorrentFreak

“This week, a Danish court convicted a 26-year-old man for selling pirated digital copies of textbooks. The seller received a suspended jail sentence and was ordered to pay damages. While this incident has been dealt with, anti-piracy group Rights Alliance signals a broader piracy habit among students that has rightsholders worried.

Free access to information is a broadly held ideal, but when students have to pay for their textbooks, it’s far from reality.

Getting a proper education certainly isn’t cheap. As a result, many students have found shortcuts in pirate sites such as Libgen and Z-Library….”

Zlibrary’s demise and its consequence – how things stand at the moment – Good e-Reader

“Zlibrary is no more. At least, the law enforcement agencies did their bit to make this claim. That includes taking down more than 200 domain names related to the site. The Russian duo who operated the site have been booked too. No doubt that’s a major victory achieved against those who distribute copyrighted material but the final battle is far from being won. That’s primarily because there is no dearth of those who have been openly championing Zlibrary and their modus operandi, that of making available essential books to the masses for free….

As for Zlibrary, it continues to be online and offers e-books to download for free as usual. However, that is via its darknet site on the Tor network. The IPFS version of Z-Library too continues to be functional. However, it will require some additional technical know-how to access either website. Apart from this, there are also reports of a particular site, that provides access to the original Zlibrary site as usual. However, the access seems to be limited to the original account holders, mods, or those who donated to the older site.”

Jumping over the paywall: Strategies and motivations for scholarly piracy and other alternatives

Abstract:  Despite the advance of the Open Access (OA) movement, most scholarly production can only be accessed through a paywall. We conduct an international survey among researchers (N=3,304) to measure the willingness and motivations to use (or not use) scholarly piracy sites, and other alternatives to overcome a paywall such as paying with their own money, institutional loans, just reading the abstract, asking the corresponding author for a copy of the document, asking a colleague to get the document for them, or searching for an OA version of the paper. We also explore differences in terms of age, professional position, country income level, discipline, and commitment to OA. The results show that researchers most frequently look for OA versions of the documents. However, more than 50% of the participants have used a scholarly piracy site at least once. This is less common in high-income countries, and among older and better-established scholars. Regarding disciplines, such services were less used in Life & Health Sciences and Social Sciences. Those who have never used a pirate library highlighted ethical and legal objections or pointed out that they were not aware of the existence of such libraries.


In the Shadow Library · LRB 14 December 2022

“Last month, Z-Library – one of the world’s most popular ‘shadow libraries’, or unlicensed eBook databases – was shut down by the FBI. Two of its alleged operators, both Russian nationals, were arrested in Argentina on behalf of the US authorities and charged with criminal copyright infringement. Z-Library, which archived 11 million books and 84 million articles, had a good claim to being the largest resource of its kind, and had managed to skirt serious legal action since it first emerged as a replica, or mirror, of Library Genesis (LibGen) in 2009.

After the arrests, most of the domains associated with Z-Library were overwritten by an FBI seizure notice, but the repository was still accessible via Tor and other anonymising browsers. A few days after the official indictment the remaining Z-Librarians realised a statement. They expressed regret at the arrests and apologised to any writers who had ‘suffered’ because of the site, but stuck to the principles that had guided its creation. ‘We believe,’ they wrote, ‘that the knowledge and cultural heritage of mankind should be accessible to all people around the world, regardless of their wealth, social status, nationality [or] citizenship.’ The democratisation of knowledge, they maintained, was Z-Library’s ‘only purpose’. They quoted a few lines from Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’, and went silent….”

How Google and Amazon helped the FBI to successfully track the Russian owners of Z-Library – Good e-Reader

“Behind-the-scenes information is slowly pouring out as to what really happened as the cops closed in on Z-Library and eventually took it down. As TorrentFreak reported, active co-operation from companies like Google and Amazon helped the FBI in tracking the activities of the company as well as its Russian owners. Also, from what the investigators revealed, tracking down the owners of what came to be known as the world’s largest digital library proved to be much simpler than they might have thought.

The FBI, armed with search warrants aimed at Google and Amazon found it relatively easy to unravel the truth given how, as the investigators soon got to know, the need to secure their identity never seemed to be the top priority for the owners Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova. Both have since been arrested from Argentina and chances are that they will be deported to the US for further investigation….”

FBI takeover Zlibrary BookTok Erupted – The Washington Post

“The FBI’s takedown of Z-Library, one of the world’s largest repositories of pirated books and academic papers, this month set ablaze the subset of TikTok devoted to discussing books and authors, said Lexi Hardesty, a BookTok content creator….

The FBI revealed Wednesday that two Russian nationals, Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova, have been charged with criminal copyright infringement, wire fraud and money laundering for operating Z-Library….”

Feds arrest Russians with alleged ties to pirated ebook site Z-Library – The Verge

“Federal law enforcement arrested and charged two Russian individuals with criminal copyright infringement over their alleged involvement with the pirated ebook Z-Library. Z-Library, which has been around since 2009, billed itself as the “world’s largest ebook library” before the US government shut down the site earlier this month.

According to the Department of Justice, the pair in question, Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova, were arrested in Argentina at the request of the US government on November 3rd. In addition to criminal copyright infringement, the two are also facing charges of money laundering and wire fraud. The US government shut down and seized the domains associated with Z-Library at the time of their arrest, but, as noted by Ars Technica, some users are still able to access the site on the dark web….”