samizdat /sahm-iz-daht/ /n./ [Russian, literally "self
publishing"] The process of disseminating documentation via
underground channels. Originally referred to underground
duplication and distribution of banned books in the Soviet Union;
now refers by obvious extension to any less-than-official
promulgation of textual material, esp. rare, obsolete, or
never-formally-published computer documentation. Samizdat is
obviously much easier when one has access to high-bandwidth
networks and high-quality laser printers. Note that samizdat is
properly used only with respect to documents which contain needed
information (see also hacker ethic) but which are for
some reason otherwise unavailable, but *not* in the context of
documents which are available through normal channels, for which
unauthorized duplication would be unethical copyright violation.
See Lions Book for a historical example.
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