May 20, 2022

Controlled Digital Lending: UK’s Society of Authors Demands Internet Archive Stops Lending Books ‘Stops Lending Books ‘Unlawfully'”

UPDATE January 22
Internet Archive’s Ebook Loans Face UK Copyright Challenge (via The Guardian)

From The Bookseller:

The Society of Authors has demanded the Internet Archive’s Open Library stops lending books “unlawfully” online in the UK, arguing the US practice of Controlled Digital Lending is a breach of copyright.

In an open letter, the trade body urged the San Francisco-based Internet Archive to immediately discontinue the practice of lending scanned copies of physical books on its site. “There is no legal basis for the practice of scanning books without permission or lending them in the UK,” said the SOA. “Despite this, users in the UK are currently able to borrow scanned copies of physical books from Open Library. That is a direct and actionable infringement of copyright.”

The SoA, which represents 10,500 writers, has condemned the practice, saying: “If widely adopted this form of ‘lending’ could destroy the e-book market and make it even harder for authors to make a living from their work.”

Read the Complete Article

Full Text of Open Letter


Libraries and Library Organizations Sign-On to “Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books” Position Statement & “A White Paper on Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books” & “Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending” (September 28, 2018)

Will ‘Controlled Digital Lending’ Spark the Next Big Copyright Lawsuit? (by Andrew Albanese, PW)

The Implications of the ReDigi Decision for Libraries (by Jonathan Band, via ARL Policy Briefs)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.