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Weekly News Digest

July 27, 2021 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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A Defense of the Internet Archive

On the IFLA-L group email list, Marie Lebert shared the English translation of an article she wrote in the French journal ActuaLitté, titled “A Senseless Lawsuit: ‘The Internet Archive Has a Heart, and Knows How to Use It’”:

When I heard about the lawsuit for copyright infringement launched on 1st June 2020 in the US by four major publishers (Hachette, Penguin Random House, Wiley, HarperCollins) against the Internet Archive for its Open Library, I couldn’t believe it. I thought this was a bad dream, that turned into a nightmare with the lawsuit scheduled for trial from 12 November 2021. …

The Open Library includes books from public domain (2.5 million) and copyrighted books (1.4 million), like any library. The ebooks are scans from printed books owned by the Internet Archive through purchase or donation. The scans are image files in PDFs. Many books are out of print and don’t have a commercial ebook version. …

During the pandemic, because all the physical libraries were closed and their digital libraries swamped with requests for loans on a one-to-one basis, and because all the schools, universities and training centres were closed, the Open Library launched the National Emergency Library (NEL) on 24 March 2020 for three months, until 30 June. …

All of us could go on reading and studying despite lockdowns, illnesses, and hard times to make ends meet. The NEL saved our daily thirst for knowledge and even our sanity during these hard times. We don’t have the money to buy piles of books at Amazon.com and the likes.

Because of the copyright infringement lawsuit launched by four major publishers on 1st June 2020, the National Emergency Library (NEL) closed its doors on 16 June instead of 30 June 2020 as planned first. The Open Library resumed its loans on a one-to-one basis. And the lawsuit is proceeding in order to have all the copyrighted books removed from the Open Library. …

The Internet Archive has repeatedly asked these publishers to work with its team and not against it, and to discuss a partnership to serve readers, libraries and booksellers. These publishers don’t seem interested.

For more information, read the article.



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