Recently I came across this website www.b-ok.cc
I could not believe what I saw there. This is Copyright infringement on a massive scale.
The site states “Part of Z-Library project. The world’s largest ebook library.”
It promises – as of 23 February 2019 – free downloads of a total of 3,435,803 books and 73,835,209 scholarly articles.
While the number for free scholarly articles is not very impressive – even publicly funded webpages such as the Australian Patent Lens have more free scholarly articles – the number of free ebooks is amazing.
Try and search a few titles of scholarly books or management books that you know. You will find that they are all there. For FREE.
Here is the 1914 edition of the German mechanical engineering handbook “Dubbel – Taschenbuch für den Maschinenbau”. Its Copyright protection has long expired.
A word to the wise is sufficient.
I still cannot believe it.
Why is B-OK.CC a Good Example?
In only 3 months, from November 2018 until today, b-ok.cc’s ranking went up from 500,000 to 2,500. This is a huge success, unheard of in the area of professional web marketing.
The Usual Suspects at Work
Who is worse, the one who multiplies Copyright infringements or the one who uses counterfeit materials?
Here are the Alexa country rankings:
One can see that China and India are among those countries that use this site most. But that is not all. Countries that usually take morally high grounds, such as the United States of America, Germany, and Japan, are those with the largest visitor numbers.
Alexa Helps to Determine the Importance of Websites
www.b-ok.cc is a good example for finding out the importance of a website. Here is a way to get a preliminary assessment: use Alexa.
Alexa rates sites in terms of traffic. The lower the number, the more the traffic. Major sites are Google, YouTube, and Facebook.
I have come across sites that are as low as 30 million.
If a site’s Alexa number is lower than 500,000, it has some influence. If it is lower than 200,000, it is a player.
The coveted ranking is a number lower than 100,000.
Any site lower than 25,000 is major.
Alexa is for subscribers only, but here is where you can do a simple free search: https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo
What a coincidence, I just came across this headline: “Largest Germany Book Wholesaler Files for Bankruptcy”
The article says:
KNV said discussions with an investor had looked promising, but came to a surprising end on February 13. After the investors pulled out, KNV’s bankers were unwilling to continue to finance the company, despite, the company said, a management plan that outlined a way forward for the company without funds from a new investors. The statement concluded by noting: “the management then decided that the basis for a positive continuation forecast was no longer given. The management was therefore obliged to apply for the opening of insolvency proceedings.”
I have said it often and I repeat it. Internet, in fact, is killing large parts of Copyright law. There is either no entity to enforce the law, such as in .IO, or the procedural law turns it economically unviable to assert claims against large numbers of infringers, such as in .DE.
Therefore, the book industry as we know it will soon disappear. Internet will take over.
We can also see this trend in the area of Intellectual Property, at least in some parts of it.
Call to Action
The above data proves nothing less than a big chunk of copyright infringements in the Internet happens exactly in those countries that deem itself to be the most advanced nations in the world.
Now deliver your judgment. Does the use of www.b-ok.cc constitute a moral hazard or does reality simply overtake wishful thinking?
Martin “No Hypocrisy, Please” Schweiger