History of TextbookTorrents.com

Textbook Torrents now Offers Free Books, Textbook Rentals and Cheap Books for Everyone

In our ongoing quest to bring more features and benefits to the visitors of our site we have launched two partnerships. Our partnership with CampusBooks.com provides you with a way to find cheap books online using a price comparison tool right on our website. For those looking for free books we have also teamed with BookBoon.com to provide you with the ability to download over 120 titles for free. As we keep searching for more free content we ask that you share any helpful links with us.

What’s Up with Textbook Torrents?

In fall 2008, the original TextbookTorrents.com as administered by Geekman went permanently offline. Jeffrey R. Young covered the story for The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus website in the following article:

In Win for Publishers, ‘Textbook Torrents’ Piracy Site Shuts Down for Good

October 14, 2008

A popular online directory of pirated textbooks for download has closed shop for good, despite a recent taunt from its founder that he would continue to operate in defiance of threats of legal action by publishers.

The site, Textbook Torrents, came to the attention of publishers after being featured in a Chronicle article in July. Since then, publishers pressured the site’s founder — an anonymous college student who goes by the online name Geekman — to close, but he had refused, calling his site an act of “civil disobedience” meant to make a statement about the high cost of textbooks. Just last month Geekman told The Chronicle that he planned to find a way to keep the site up permanently.

But it appears that Geekman yielded to the pressure last week. He replaced the site with a statement noting that it is closed for good [see below]. “I would be lying if I claimed that the concern of legal action wasn’t a major factor in the decision,” he wrote in the statement. But he said the effort of maintaining the site was also a factor. “I am at heart an activist, a crusader for the underdog,” he wrote. “When I see something that I believe is wrong, I do what I can to fix it, if only in some small way. I believe this is what Textbook Torrents has stood for, and what we have done.” He called for others to set up similar pirate sites to fill the gap.

The blog TorrentFreak first noted the site’s demise last week. Jim Groom, an instructional-technology specialist at the University of Mary Washington, points out on his blog that the site’s popularity raises questions about the future of textbooks.

Geekman’s Statement:

Textbook Torrents is now permanently offline.

There are a number of reasons for this, but I would be lying if I claimed that the concern of legal action wasn’t a major factor in the decision. However, it was by no means the only reason. Upkeep of a site this size is a lot of work, increasingly so as time progressed. What’s more, two years is a long time to be running a site of this nature.

I am at heart an activist, a crusader for the underdog. When I see something that I believe is wrong, I do what I can to fix it, if only in some small way. I believe this is what Textbook Torrents has stood for, and what we have done. The amount of attention that we have garnered would not have been possible by simply running around with a sandwich board and shouting slogans. We have opened people’s eyes, and gotten them talking. At its true purpose, the site has been successful beyond my wildest dreams.

What we have started here does not stop with one site. It is real, and it is now up to you to continue. Take what you have learned and experienced here and go forth. If you’re able, start new sites. Find new ways to open new eyes. Keep the revolution going. It is not a revolution of one, not even of eight staff members: it is a revolution of 100,000. We have done nothing here but provide you with a venue to voice your discontent, and the ideological sentiment that we all share need not end with Textbook Torrents. Indeed, it must live on.

For my part, I have other causes that need fighting for. There are all kinds of ways to fight all kinds of battles, and it is unlikely that I will find myself running a BitTorrent tracker again. I will step back from this and hope that you will carry on in our place.

Thanks for everything, folks. Thanks for making Textbook Torrents everything that it was, and for adding your voices to mine. Now it’s your turn.

Geekman, (Former) Textbook Torrents administrator