Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Wiley File Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Internet Archive
Note: We will be updating this post with additional coverage and statements as they become available.
June 2, 2020 Media Coverage Lawsuit Over Online Book Lending Could Bankrupt Internet Archive (via ars technica)
From the Associated Press:
Four of the country’s biggest publishers have sued a digital library for copyright infringement, alleging that the Internet Archive has illegally offered more than a million scanned works to the public, including such favorites as Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon,” Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” and Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”
“Without any license or any payment to authors or publishers, Internet Archive scans print books, uploads these illegally scanned books to its servers, and distributes verbatim digital copies of the books in whole via public-facing websites,” according to papers filed Monday in federal court Monday in New York. “With just a few clicks, any Internet-connected user can download complete digital copies of in-copyright books.”
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From The New York Times
Brewster Kahle, the founder and digital librarian of Internet Archive, defended his organization and said it was functioning as a library during the coronavirus pandemic, when physical libraries have been closed.
“As a library, the Internet Archive acquires books and lends them, as libraries have always done,” he said in an email. “This supports publishing and authors and readers. Publishers suing libraries for lending books, in this case, protected digitized versions, and while schools and libraries are closed, is not in anyone’s interest.”
Direct to Complete Article
Note: The Full Text of Brewster Kahle’s Statement is Also Available on the Internet Archive Blog
From Torrent Freak
The publishers are going straight for the jugular with their claim, alleging direct copyright infringement for each of the publishers’ copyright works offered by the library at a rate of $150,000 in statutory damages per infringement. In the alternative, should IA “attempt to evade responsibility” by blaming its own users for infringement, the lawsuit also alleges secondary copyright infringement.
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- Full Text of Complaint Filed in United States District Court Southern District of New York
- Direct to Case Docket, Additional Documents
Today, member companies of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Internet Archive (“IA”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The suit asks the Court to enjoin IA’s mass scanning, public display, and distribution of entire literary works, which it offers to the public at large through global-facing businesses coined “Open Library” and “National Emergency Library,” accessible at both openlibrary.org and archive.org. IA has brazenly reproduced some 1.3 million bootleg scans of print books, including recent works, commercial fiction and non-fiction, thrillers, and children’s books.
This lawsuit is not about the occasional transmission of a rare or aging title under appropriately limited circumstances, nor about anything permissioned or in the public domain. Rather, this lawsuit condemns the fact that IA solicits and collects truckloads of in-copyright books in order to copy and make them available without permission, purposely denigrating their commercial value. As the complaint alleges, there are no provisions under copyright law—not library or educational exceptions, not fair use, not the first sale doctrine, nor anything in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—that support IA’s theft or the manner in which it steals.
infoDOCKET Coverage Re: National Emergency Library
Numerous reports and statements.
Background: Controlled Digital Lending
- Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries Endorsed by Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) (January 30, 2020)
- Libraries and Library Organizations Sign-On to “Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books” Position Statemen (September 28, 2018)
- “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)
Filed under: Associations and Organizations, Companies (Publishers/Vendors), Digital Collections, Digital Preservation, Interactive Tools, Journal Articles, Libraries, News, Patrons and Users, Publishing, Reports
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.