|Weekly News Digest
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Updates on the Internet Archive Lawsuit
Matthew Gault writes the following for VICE:
In a brief filed in a New York district court on [July 28], the Internet Archive fired back in response to a lawsuit brought against it by five of the world’s largest publishers. The lawsuit seeks to shut down an online National Emergency Library started by the Internet Archive during the Covid-19 pandemic and levy millions of dollars in fines against the organization.
‘The Internet Archive does what libraries have always done: buy, collect, preserve, and share our common culture,’ the brief said. ‘Contrary to the publishers’ accusations, the Internet Archive and the hundreds of libraries and archives that support it are not pirates or thieves. They are librarians, striving to serve their patrons online just as they have done for centuries in the brick-and-mortar world.’
Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive in June, claiming the site was a hub of piracy that had cost authors untold millions. Worried that the lawsuit could destroy the Internet Archive entirely, some have taken it upon themselves to archive the archive.
At the heart of the lawsuit is the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library, an initiative it began in March as a response to Covid-19. The idea was to use a controlled lending system to make almost 1.4 million books temporarily available to anyone who wanted them until the end of June or the end of the pandemic, without a wait list. Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) is a new system of lending e-books as if they were printed that makes it so readers can’t freely redistribute digital books they’ve borrowed.
The publisher’s lawsuit claims the emergency library infringed its copyrights and is seeking $150,000 per infringement for each of the 1.4 million copyrighted works.
For more information, read the article. In addition, read Publishing Perspectives’ take here and Publishers Weekly’s take here.
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