The world’s largest book piracy site is down… because of TikTok

The world’s largest book piracy site is down… because of TikTok

US Postal Police digital teams have seized domain names operated by Z-Library, the largest book and magazine piracy site. Popularized by the #zlibrary hashtag on Tiktok, this several-year-old site finally went down very quickly.

It’s a story where the crime scene is called TikTok and the police are a factor. Or almost. Z-Library, the world’s largest book piracy site, has just gone out of business. Its DNS servers have been seized and it is now impossible to connect to it, it, or its many mirrors. However, as in all the best “tragedies”, we enjoy the (somewhat) comical elements.

Read also: Movie piracy: several French sites in the crosshairs of Hollywood (October 2022)

The first funny element is the American government in charge of the operation. Don’t put $10 on the FBI or Homeland Security, you’re going to lose: It’s the “iCOP Analytics Team,” the digital police department of… the US Postal Service. Yes, the US Postal Service (USPS) has its own police force United States Postal Inspection Service. And it would be the oldest law enforcement agency, ahead of conventional police forces, since it existed created in 1775 by Benjamin Franklin !

With more than 2,000 agents, more than half of whom are armed, this force has many missions. Either physically, with tracking and investigations related to package bombs. Or now digitally, since one of its prerogatives is the collection of information circulating on networks, from the web to the darknet. And so it was she who entered the domains, and, which now point to a URL with the very explicit name SEIZEDSERVERS.COM (servers!).

The world’s largest book piracy site is down… because of TikTok

The point of darknet search via Tor or suspicious network, the theater where this seizure was made would be the social network Tiktok. Or more precisely, the hashtag #zlibrary, which hit a large number of videos. Popularization that increased the site’s popularity with a growing audience… as well as mustard in front of the powerful guild of authors. This was divided into communication criticizing the fact that ” hashtag #zlibrary on the very popular Tiktok network has combined more than 4 million views, compared to countless videos posted by college and high school students (…) promoting (the site) as a place to find free books Tiktok quickly responded by blocking the hashtag, but the damage (or good!) was done.

Because the author’s condemnation did not fall on deaf ears: barely a few days later, the American authorities therefore attacked Zlibrary. And the site has (for now) disappeared from the web. He and his 11 million books and 84 million freely available articles. While there is no doubt that rights holders are rubbing their hands, history has taught us that when a device is dropped or grabbed, it doesn’t take long to come back, often stronger. As in the field of audio or video, where platforms such as Spotify or Netflix have created economic models, players in the publishing sector have an interest in inventing digital distribution models. Under the pain that we will have to look for the next big place in a few months.



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