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lbc was started partly to help tiny/underground distros, by helping with the logistics. still do some of that but they disappear, and it's possible that lbc (et al), as you say, helped create a context where people thought tiny distros weren't worth the effort or something, though of course some people still do them (heyo viscera! etc).

i remember there was a project like 10 years ago, where people brought a book scanner to a few bookfairs and would scan your book, so that you could buy it, scan it, then return it to the bookseller for your money back. obv before the days of widespread use of theanarchistlibrary and pirate sites. fairly hostile project, but also interesting and funny. lugging the set up around wouldn't have been fun though.