AfterDawn: Tech news

Poor college kid? 'Library Pirate' wants to help you

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 24 Sep 2011 0:42 User comments (25)

Poor college kid? 'Library Pirate' wants to help you Library Pirate wants to help poor college kids with the outrageous prices of university textbooks.
The site's goal is: "Our mission is simple and specific. To revolutionize the digital e-textbook industry and change it permanently."

Library Pirate, which runs on a "Hire-a-Pirate" initiative, lets users reduce the cost of digital textbook rentals and also keep that textbook forever, via the stripping of DRM.

TF explains:

First, the student lets LibraryPirate know the title of the book they’re looking for. Then, site staff locate the product on eTextbook rental services and advise the student of the current rental price. An example shown to us was a book costing $200, but with a time-limited digital rental copy also available at $118.50.

Participating students are then asked to purchase a gift certificate from the official seller for the full amount ($118.50 in our example) and send the gift code to LibraryPirate. Site staff then rent the book on the student’s behalf.


At that point, LibraryPirate strips the DRM and links the user to a torrent to download. The DRM-less PDF can then be read on any device, and is yours forever, unlike most rentals that expire after four months (one semester).

The torrent is then available for all, so future generations get the books free. LibraryPirate also encourages users to pool together to buy the original book. The example above quickly turns to under $20 per person if 10 people in the same class pool to buy the gift card.

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25 user comments

124.9.2011 1:26

As a university student that just paid $250 for one book, I approve of this message.


"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one"

-George Bernard Shaw

224.9.2011 2:38

I completely agree. Its ridiculous how much they charge us for tuition..add outrageous book prices and yup..lets get screwed harder.

324.9.2011 2:53

Thanks for sharing information....

424.9.2011 3:04

I agree too...if you go to community college you probably spend more on books than on classes...and the books are trash. Plus, they come with CDs that are not needed for the course at all...and you can't resell the books that come with CDs...nor can you buy them used, not even without the CDs.

All of these monopolies are screwing their customers, and it is high time their customers started screwing them right back.



524.9.2011 3:06

So let me get this right if you have to buy a book for say a year then why bother renting the thing and just pay the $200 for the real thing and you can read it anywhere you like.

Why should someone pay for a rental and then give that rental away to a site so they can strip the rental but keep their own freebie copy that they didn't pay for and also let anyone else to download it.

Pretty crazy that site will go down for copyright easy thus anyone who has given it away will lose it.

624.9.2011 3:09

Originally posted by xtago:
So let me get this right if you have to buy a book for say a year then why bother renting the thing and just pay the $200 for the real thing and you can read it anywhere you like.

Why should someone pay for a rental and then give that rental away to a site so they can strip the rental but keep their own freebie copy that they didn't pay for and also let anyone else to download it.

Pretty crazy that site will go down for copyright easy thus anyone who has given it away will lose it.

read the story fully? Pay $100 is better than $200, you get a pdf copy of the book so you get it forever (unless you lose your copy). Also its acting as a portal for people to pool their money to rent a book (making it cheaper per person). Even if the site is taken down, you will still retain your pdf.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Sep 2011 @ 3:11

724.9.2011 7:21

As being a former undergrad, I think this is a great idea. What gets me is the con job the book store has when you try to sell a book back, pennies on the dollar. I know today there are many more outlets, to sell books, then the ones I had 14 years ago.

824.9.2011 9:24

Originally posted by Ragnarok8:
Originally posted by xtago:
So let me get this right if you have to buy a book for say a year then why bother renting the thing and just pay the $200 for the real thing and you can read it anywhere you like.

Why should someone pay for a rental and then give that rental away to a site so they can strip the rental but keep their own freebie copy that they didn't pay for and also let anyone else to download it.

Pretty crazy that site will go down for copyright easy thus anyone who has given it away will lose it.

read the story fully? Pay $100 is better than $200, you get a pdf copy of the book so you get it forever (unless you lose your copy). Also its acting as a portal for people to pool their money to rent a book (making it cheaper per person). Even if the site is taken down, you will still retain your pdf.
Yes I did.

It says to own a book out right you might have to pay $200, I've paid up to $300 for some of my programming books not for uni but just for myself for work, I have all these book about $1500+ worth.

It says why bother doing that when you can rent a PDF for half the price but not only that instead of paying to rent the PDF buy a gift card send the gift card to the web site owners, who will buy said rented PDF and strip the DRM out of it, and let you have a link to download it.

LOL, talk about getting scammed, I guess the site is run by a Nigerian prince too.

As I said whats the point of wasting time with the middle people and just buy to whole real book you get to keep it and can read it on the way to school etc, reading a PDF is a pain in the arse, if you have to do it for hours on end and you'll be wishing you had simply printed it out.

As I said what if you do the whole gift card thing send it off and the site gets taken out or someone decides screw this I'll keep the money myself, that has happened with blackcats torrent site for games, that site doesn't exist at all as the guy running it needed the $5,000 $10,000 sitting in the bank for what ever and with the site costing $2,000 $3,000 a month for hosting, it was dead in days/weeks.

All the other staff are were wondering what had happened and all the people who put in money had lost it, and some had just put in money for the first time hours before he grabbed it all and ran, he never gave the money back and the site never came back up.

What I don't understand is why bother with such a site when you already have textbooktorents which have people borrow a text book and then scan it and then PDF it up to send to the site and that is all free BTW.

924.9.2011 9:34
oappi
Inactive

I consider my self lucky... in university where i study, most classes can actually be taken without any books (im studing computer science btw). This possible because lecturers make their own material, and in addition they suggest a book if you can't understand something they wrote or if it is something that can be explained on lectures you can ask. So far i have bought 7 books and i have nearly reached bachelor degree. 3 of those books are actually related to cs. 3 are for mathematics, 1 physics, 1 software engineering and 1 for algorithms and one book related to internet communications ( which was actually written by the lecturer but i have to admit the book was good). And i can say that physics and algorithm books were not really required. Buying physics book was "accident", but the algorithms book is quite handy when writing software that should be efficient.

So i haven't really invested that much on books, but agree that they should cost less. I dont think it is very efficient that lecturers have to make their own material because it would be f*cking retired to buy books that are as expensive as said in #1 post. Book renting should be turned to a service like spotify.

edit: typos

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Sep 2011 @ 11:49

1024.9.2011 11:40

Originally posted by xtago:
Originally posted by Ragnarok8:
Originally posted by xtago:
So let me get this right if you have to buy a book for say a year then why bother renting the thing and just pay the $200 for the real thing and you can read it anywhere you like.

Why should someone pay for a rental and then give that rental away to a site so they can strip the rental but keep their own freebie copy that they didn't pay for and also let anyone else to download it.

Pretty crazy that site will go down for copyright easy thus anyone who has given it away will lose it.

read the story fully? Pay $100 is better than $200, you get a pdf copy of the book so you get it forever (unless you lose your copy). Also its acting as a portal for people to pool their money to rent a book (making it cheaper per person). Even if the site is taken down, you will still retain your pdf.
Yes I did.

It says to own a book out right you might have to pay $200, I've paid up to $300 for some of my programming books not for uni but just for myself for work, I have all these book about $1500+ worth.

It says why bother doing that when you can rent a PDF for half the price but not only that instead of paying to rent the PDF buy a gift card send the gift card to the web site owners, who will buy said rented PDF and strip the DRM out of it, and let you have a link to download it.

LOL, talk about getting scammed, I guess the site is run by a Nigerian prince too.

As I said whats the point of wasting time with the middle people and just buy to whole real book you get to keep it and can read it on the way to school etc, reading a PDF is a pain in the arse, if you have to do it for hours on end and you'll be wishing you had simply printed it out.

As I said what if you do the whole gift card thing send it off and the site gets taken out or someone decides screw this I'll keep the money myself, that has happened with blackcats torrent site for games, that site doesn't exist at all as the guy running it needed the $5,000 $10,000 sitting in the bank for what ever and with the site costing $2,000 $3,000 a month for hosting, it was dead in days/weeks.

All the other staff are were wondering what had happened and all the people who put in money had lost it, and some had just put in money for the first time hours before he grabbed it all and ran, he never gave the money back and the site never came back up.

What I don't understand is why bother with such a site when you already have textbooktorents which have people borrow a text book and then scan it and then PDF it up to send to the site and that is all free BTW.

As a long time member of Blackcat-Games, which is still up and running to this day, I'd like to just say that maybe you should check your facts before you go off writing about things playboy.

xFEARxPHOENIXx - Steam,XBOXLIVE,and Playstation Network user name

1124.9.2011 12:44

Originally posted by xtago:
So let me get this right if you have to buy a book for say a year then why bother renting the thing and just pay the $200 for the real thing and you can read it anywhere you like.

Why should someone pay for a rental and then give that rental away to a site so they can strip the rental but keep their own freebie copy that they didn't pay for and also let anyone else to download it.

Pretty crazy that site will go down for copyright easy thus anyone who has given it away will lose it.

You, sir, care not for your fellow man apparently. This is a way for you and your mates, and all other peers across the nation/globe to get the resources they need without paying an arm and a leg. You're asking why not just go on and get the damned book, you get to have it forever; but that's the point, not only do I already have enough physical books but after all other living expenses, not many students have $1,500 for books and this way you also keep it forever. Couple it with a backup and/or throw it in DB and voila, permanent textbook that doesn't need space on my shelves or in storage.

~*Livin' Electronicallly*~

1224.9.2011 13:32

xtago the whole industry for college text books is one big scam. you take various courses in a particular field and the books change versions every single year. the reason for this is pure corporate greed on the part of the college you are going to and the instructors. the instructors do get concessions when they choose to use certain textbooks (which their students are obviously required to buy) and so does the school. that is the main factor in why they are always making you get new editions for their classes, money and not any particularly updated information that may or may not be in it.

you 'might' be able to sell your book back IF they are not going with a different version the next semester but you will get pennies on the dollar for it. the bookstores then resell those books for probably 20-30 bucks less than a brand new copy which is crap. paying 300 dollars for a math book you can only use one year is not fun. the next edition has the same stuff only switches up the math problems to make it look like they were doing something. it is the same for a lot of books for core courses like math and literature they keep coming out with new editions which does not add anything that is new at all. i know this from experience when i took college algebra, trig, and calc. you could have used one book but they kept coming out with newer versions of it which the instructors then pimped because they get a cut.

also have you seen the sites that sell these 'official' ebooks? so you buy the paper copy and it is a few hundred dollars but the ebook costs maybe 50 bucks less. that's insane. at least the paper book you know you are paying for some of the manufacture cost of it. ebooks overhead cost is minimal. i've had friends who had to wait until later to take certain classes because they had to give up their first born child just to pay for the books. in this day and age with so much information out on the internet you shouldn't have to pay for college textbooks at all. they should just suggest material to you that you might want to review for the course and you can find things online for free. you want to learn, not mortgage your soul to buy textbooks every semester.

i say information should be free. if you have the means to buy textbooks then it doesn't hurt you to share it with others who are less fortunate. while it is true some folks would rather not pay if they have the option, some people cannot pay or have more pressing financial needs at home and buying text books on top of that puts them deeper into a hole.

1324.9.2011 13:54

As someone that has been in college for 7 years now and still has a few years left (geez that sounds so bad), I really look forward to this service.


X360 - iXtreme1.4 ||| Xbox - EvoX Dash ||| PS2 - CC 2.0 PRO SLE ||| Dreamcast ...lol ||| NDS - Acekard 2/M3 Simply/EZ Flash 3-1 ||| Rooted HTC Hero with Ic3rom

1424.9.2011 14:24

So I only have to pay if it's the first time they are purchasing this book? Otherwise if someone else already did then it should just be offered for free? I mean I wouldn't mind paying the rental cost for a PERMANENT version of it and allowing anyone to access it for free, but I just wanted to confirm that it is free access to everyone after purchased and stripped once?

1524.9.2011 14:56

Originally posted by Tazer247:
So I only have to pay if it's the first time they are purchasing this book? Otherwise if someone else already did then it should just be offered for free? I mean I wouldn't mind paying the rental cost for a PERMANENT version of it and allowing anyone to access it for free, but I just wanted to confirm that it is free access to everyone after purchased and stripped once?
Yes after the first person (or group) purchases the book, it is then permanently on the LibraryPirate tracker..whether there will be seeders or not is probably a bigger issue.

1625.9.2011 1:31

Worst is when the professor says you NEED the book and by the end of the semester, you realize that everyone got an A without touching the book.

1725.9.2011 20:10

Originally posted by core2kid:
Worst is when the professor says you NEED the book and by the end of the semester, you realize that everyone got an A without touching the book.
Lol this happened to me with at least one class every semester.

Anyways if your smart about it you can get your text books for much cheaper (one semester I got all my books for less than a quarter of the bookstore price). Email your professors early and ask them what books they plan to use and if older editions would be okay. Purchase them off of Amazon during the non-peak season.

1825.9.2011 20:30

Originally posted by Azuran:
Originally posted by core2kid:
Worst is when the professor says you NEED the book and by the end of the semester, you realize that everyone got an A without touching the book.
Lol this happened to me with at least one class every semester.

Anyways if your smart about it you can get your text books for much cheaper (one semester I got all my books for less than a quarter of the bookstore price). Email your professors early and ask them what books they plan to use and if older editions would be okay. Purchase them off of Amazon during the non-peak season.
Yea, I wasn't able to do that 1st or 3rd semester, books were bundled with all this garbage so you were required to get it from the book store. 2nd semester though I saved money. 4th semester is onto Ebooks!

1926.9.2011 3:15

Originally posted by dirtyphoe:
Originally posted by xtago:
Originally posted by Ragnarok8:
Originally posted by xtago:
So let me get this right if you have to buy a book for say a year then why bother renting the thing and just pay the $200 for the real thing and you can read it anywhere you like.

Why should someone pay for a rental and then give that rental away to a site so they can strip the rental but keep their own freebie copy that they didn't pay for and also let anyone else to download it.

Pretty crazy that site will go down for copyright easy thus anyone who has given it away will lose it.

read the story fully? Pay $100 is better than $200, you get a pdf copy of the book so you get it forever (unless you lose your copy). Also its acting as a portal for people to pool their money to rent a book (making it cheaper per person). Even if the site is taken down, you will still retain your pdf.
Yes I did.

It says to own a book out right you might have to pay $200, I've paid up to $300 for some of my programming books not for uni but just for myself for work, I have all these book about $1500+ worth.

It says why bother doing that when you can rent a PDF for half the price but not only that instead of paying to rent the PDF buy a gift card send the gift card to the web site owners, who will buy said rented PDF and strip the DRM out of it, and let you have a link to download it.

LOL, talk about getting scammed, I guess the site is run by a Nigerian prince too.

As I said whats the point of wasting time with the middle people and just buy to whole real book you get to keep it and can read it on the way to school etc, reading a PDF is a pain in the arse, if you have to do it for hours on end and you'll be wishing you had simply printed it out.

As I said what if you do the whole gift card thing send it off and the site gets taken out or someone decides screw this I'll keep the money myself, that has happened with blackcats torrent site for games, that site doesn't exist at all as the guy running it needed the $5,000 $10,000 sitting in the bank for what ever and with the site costing $2,000 $3,000 a month for hosting, it was dead in days/weeks.

All the other staff are were wondering what had happened and all the people who put in money had lost it, and some had just put in money for the first time hours before he grabbed it all and ran, he never gave the money back and the site never came back up.

What I don't understand is why bother with such a site when you already have textbooktorents which have people borrow a text book and then scan it and then PDF it up to send to the site and that is all free BTW.

As a long time member of Blackcat-Games, which is still up and running to this day, I'd like to just say that maybe you should check your facts before you go off writing about things playboy.
lol when did you join them I was with them around 2003. I see the sign it up but if you log in it doesn't do anything, would have been like that for over 5 years now.

2026.9.2011 3:29

Originally posted by buxtahuda:
Originally posted by xtago:
So let me get this right if you have to buy a book for say a year then why bother renting the thing and just pay the $200 for the real thing and you can read it anywhere you like.

Why should someone pay for a rental and then give that rental away to a site so they can strip the rental but keep their own freebie copy that they didn't pay for and also let anyone else to download it.

Pretty crazy that site will go down for copyright easy thus anyone who has given it away will lose it.

You, sir, care not for your fellow man apparently. This is a way for you and your mates, and all other peers across the nation/globe to get the resources they need without paying an arm and a leg. You're asking why not just go on and get the damned book, you get to have it forever; but that's the point, not only do I already have enough physical books but after all other living expenses, not many students have $1,500 for books and this way you also keep it forever. Couple it with a backup and/or throw it in DB and voila, permanent textbook that doesn't need space on my shelves or in storage.
I'd rather pay $300 for a book that is 500 pages, I'm talking about a 4 inch thick book, sure you can PDF it but you try and read a 500 page book as an ebook, for hours on end it'll screw your eyes in hours, not to mention trying to find the correct page with the right info, not all PDF are made correctly I've had some that are 30 pages off from the correct page number.

Which is why I said buying the real book to keep is the best option as it allows you to look it up and read it without wasting extra money on ebook readers and net connections and all that crap you'd need just to read the ebook.

@other people
As for not having the money then do some cash jobs or get a part time job to cover the costs, nothing is free.

It's kind of funny because if people costed up all the money they have spent on computer mobiles and ebook readers then net connections and stuff it'd probably pay for the books anyway.

2126.9.2011 3:38

Originally posted by xtago:
Originally posted by buxtahuda:
Originally posted by xtago:
So let me get this right if you have to buy a book for say a year then why bother renting the thing and just pay the $200 for the real thing and you can read it anywhere you like.

Why should someone pay for a rental and then give that rental away to a site so they can strip the rental but keep their own freebie copy that they didn't pay for and also let anyone else to download it.

Pretty crazy that site will go down for copyright easy thus anyone who has given it away will lose it.

You, sir, care not for your fellow man apparently. This is a way for you and your mates, and all other peers across the nation/globe to get the resources they need without paying an arm and a leg. You're asking why not just go on and get the damned book, you get to have it forever; but that's the point, not only do I already have enough physical books but after all other living expenses, not many students have $1,500 for books and this way you also keep it forever. Couple it with a backup and/or throw it in DB and voila, permanent textbook that doesn't need space on my shelves or in storage.
I'd rather pay $300 for a book that is 500 pages, I'm talking about a 4 inch thick book, sure you can PDF it but you try and read a 500 page book as an ebook, for hours on end it'll screw your eyes in hours, not to mention trying to find the correct page with the right info, not all PDF are made correctly I've had some that are 30 pages off from the correct page number.

Which is why I said buying the real book to keep is the best option as it allows you to look it up and read it without wasting extra money on ebook readers and net connections and all that crap you'd need just to read the ebook.

@other people
As for not having the money then do some cash jobs or get a part time job to cover the costs, nothing is free.

It's kind of funny because if people costed up all the money they have spent on computer mobiles and ebook readers then net connections and stuff it'd probably pay for the books anyway.

As a full time college student who commutes, I don't agree.

2226.9.2011 10:25

Originally posted by xtago:
Id rather pay $300 for a book that is 500 pages, I'm talking about a 4 inch thick book, sure you can PDF it but you try and read a 500 page book as an ebook, for hours on end it'll screw your eyes in hours, not to mention trying to find the correct page with the right info, not all PDF are made correctly I've had some that are 30 pages off from the correct page number.

Which is why I said buying the real book to keep is the best option as it allows you to look it up and read it without wasting extra money on ebook readers and net connections and all that crap you'd need just to read the ebook.

@other people
As for not having the money then do some cash jobs or get a part time job to cover the costs, nothing is free.

It's kind of funny because if people costed up all the money they have spent on computer mobiles and ebook readers then net connections and stuff it'd probably pay for the books anyway.

Sorry to say but this argument is completely nonsensical. Are you implying that people should not buy laptops, Internet connections and an e-reader to instead pay for textbooks that will get AT MOST, 6 months of use?

The best is when you buy, let's say the 9th edition for $100 and then at the end of the semester there is magically a 10th edition out for the same price, making your sellback price worthless. Good times I had with that giant scam.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Sep 2011 @ 10:26

2329.9.2011 12:16

AMEN! I hear what your saying.


Forza Juve!!

2430.9.2011 13:42

Wait.... couldn't you and your friends pool your money, rent the book, and strip the DRM YOURSELF? Why the middle man? If you wanna then up a copy of the book to a textbook tracker, feel free to do so. That seems less risky than you sending them a gift card.

2530.9.2011 17:24

Originally posted by loubat:
Wait.... couldn't you and your friends pool your money, rent the book, and strip the DRM YOURSELF? Why the middle man? If you wanna then up a copy of the book to a textbook tracker, feel free to do so. That seems less risky than you sending them a gift card.
I thought of this as well >.> However, I have no earthly idea how DRM protection works, and am still struggling to just get started on learning to code HTML and CSS and what have you.

~*Livin' Electronicallly*~

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