There is a famous utterance by Steward Brand: “Information wants to be free”. All that started in the mid-80th when few musician posted free copies of their albums online and allowed others to record and distribute their music for free. Many other works like books or even movies are open for downloading, uploading, packaging and selling, as they are free to use.
You can find independent e-books libraries in the Internet Archive. These libraries are: the Million Book Project and Project Gutenberg, Ibiblio.org’s Ebooks and the Digital Book Index. In this libraries it is possible to find technical and historical works as well as thousands of free e-books, for example, 50,000 books out of 90,000 titles of the Digital Book Index are free. In most cases, the format of the e-books available in those libraries is plain-text, though there are some in PDF or DjVu format.
You will have any problem with reading of plain-text e-books as any common text editor like Microsoft Word is able to open it. There is also a useful utility for reading e-books in Windows: Palm Digital Media’s EReader, free tool for formatting pages and bookmarking the spots.
It is a common practice of newcoming musicians to post their studio works online for a while for free and now bigger-selling artists and studios are starting to do the same. Nowadays many bands allow fans to tape and distribute live shows online. Live Music Archive of the Internet Archive is full of high-quality live recordings of many popular bands and artists. Majority of files is stored in .flac (Free Lossless Audio Codec) or .shn (Shorten) format. These lossless formats don’t lose quality when compressed and it is easy to decode them: just use the necessary utility and drag-and-drop file there.
And in order to download files, it is advisable to use BitTorrent file-sharing program.