May 21, 2022

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  Authors Alliance Statement on Publisher Lawsuit Against Internet Archive

June 2, 2020 Publishers Association Backs AAP as Publishers File Lawsuit Against Internet Archive (via The Bookseller)

June 2, 2020 Media Coverage Lawsuit Over Online Book Lending Could Bankrupt Internet Archive (via ars technica)

June 1, 2020 Public Knowledge Responds to Lawsuit Against Internet Archive: Policymakers, Publishers, and Libraries Should Make Print Books More Accessible During the Pandemic


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.”

Read the Complete Article

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.

Read the Complete Article




From a Statement by the American Association of Publishers

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 and 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.

Read the Complete Post Including Comments From AAP President, Maria Pallante


COVID-19 and Libraries: E-Books and Intellectual Property Issues (via Congressional Research Service)

infoDOCKET Coverage Re: National Emergency Library
Numerous reports and statements.

Background: Controlled Digital Lending

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.