/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.