National Emergency Library is Closing 2 Weeks Early, Returning To Traditional Controlled Digital Lending
UPDATE July 10, 2020 Brewster Kahle/Internet Archive Responds to Inquiry From Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) re: National Emergency Emergency, Controlled Digital Lending, Historical Sound Recordings (via IA Blog)
- Full Text of Letter to Sen. Tillis by Brewster Kahle (4 pages; PDF)
- June 10, 2020 Letter From Sen. Tillis to Brewster Kahle (via DocumentCloud)
UPDATE July 1, 2020 Association of Research Libraries and SPARC Sign Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending”
UPDATE June 25, 2020 Internet Archive Asks Judge for Additional Time to Respond to Complaint
UPDATE June 25, 2020 EFF and Durie Tangri Join Forces to Defend Internet Archive’s Digital Library
UPDATE June 24, 2020 Editorial From The Blade (Toledo’s Newspaper) “Let Internet Archive Thrive”
UPDATE June 23, 2020 Report From Vox: “A Lawsuit Is Threatening The Internet Archive — But It’s Not As Dire As You May Have Heard”
UPDATE June 22, 2020 Association Of Research Libraries Urges End To Litigation Against Internet Archive
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) urges an end to the lawsuit against the Internet Archive filed early this month by four major publishers in the United States District Court Southern District of New York, especially now that the National Emergency Library (NEL) has closed two weeks earlier than originally planned.
Read the Complete Statement
Today we are announcing the National Emergency Library will close on June 16th, rather than June 30th, returning to traditional controlled digital lending. We have learned that the vast majority of people use digitized books on the Internet Archive for a very short time. Even with the closure of the NEL, we will be able to serve most patrons through controlled digital lending, in part because of the good work of the non-profit HathiTrust Digital Library. HathiTrust’s new Emergency Temporary Access Service features a short-term access model that we plan to follow.
We moved up our schedule because, last Monday, four commercial publishers chose to sue Internet Archive during a global pandemic. However, this lawsuit is not just about the temporary National Emergency Library. The complaint attacks the concept of any library owning and lending digital books, challenging the very idea of what a library is in the digital world. This lawsuit stands in contrast to some academic publishers who initially expressed concerns about the NEL, but ultimately decided to work with us to provide access to people cut off from their physical schools and libraries. We hope that similar cooperation is possible here, and the publishers call off their costly assault.
Controlled digital lending is how many libraries have been providing access to digitized books for nine years. Controlled digital lending is a legal framework, developed by copyright experts, where one reader at a time can read a digitized copy of a legally owned library book. The digitized book is protected by the same digital protections that publishers use for the digital offerings on their own sites. Many libraries, including the Internet Archive, have adopted this system since 2011 to leverage their investments in older print books in an increasingly digital world.
We are now all Internet-bound and flooded with misinformation and disinformation—to fight these we all need access to books more than ever. To get there we need collaboration between libraries, authors, booksellers, and publishers.
Let’s build a digital system that works.
Read the Complete Blog Post
On a Related Notes
1) Earlier today the Washington Post published the editorial, “Books Online? Who Could Be Against That?
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)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.