Publishers Sue Internet Archive For 'Mass Copyright Infringement' (npr)

we are in a pandemic, so the internet archive has made some files viewable by more than one person at a time, and publishers are RLY MAD. the best part is the end. actually yes i want food to be free to all just like i want books to be free to all lol


Publishers Sue Internet Archive For ‘Mass Copyright Infringement’

June 3, 20202:52 PM ET



Several publishers have filed a lawsuit against the Internet Archive alleging copyright infringement.

Richard Newstead/Getty Images

When the Internet Archive announced that it was creating a “National Emergency Library,” temporarily suspending wait lists to borrow e-books amid the pandemic, a crowd of writers and publishers made their outrage clear. Now, their complaint has made it to court.

The Internet Archive, or IA, “is engaged in willful mass copyright infringement,” four major publishers said in a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court. The plaintiffs — John Wiley & Sons and three of the big five U.S. publishers, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins and Penguin Random House — are trying to block the nonprofit group’s operations and recover damages for scores of allegedly infringed works.

“Its goal of creating digital copies of books and providing them to whomever wants to download them reflects a profound misunderstanding of the costs of creating books, a profound lack of respect for the many contributors involved in the publication process, and a profound disregard of the boundaries and balance of core copyright principles,” the publishers argued.

“IA does not seek to ‘free knowledge’; it seeks to destroy the carefully calibrated ecosystem that makes books possible in the first place — and to undermine the copyright law that stands in its way.”

The Internet Archive didn’t respond immediately to NPR’s request for comment on Wednesday. But in a statement issued Monday, Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive expressed the group’s disappointment with the lawsuit.

“As a library, the Internet Archive acquires books and lends them, as libraries have always done. This supports publishing, 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,” Kahle said. “We hope this can be resolved quickly.”

This isn’t the first clash of words between the Internet Archive and critics who have accused it of piracy.

Authors, Publishers Condemn The 'National Emergency Library' As 'Piracy'


Authors, Publishers Condemn The ‘National Emergency Library’ As ‘Piracy’

The organization describes itself as a library, which temporarily lends free digital copies of millions of books obtained through donations, purchases or collaborations with brick-and-mortar libraries. The group has used a wait list to ensure that just one copy of a given work is in use at a time — and professional groups representing writers and publishers have repeatedly called out the Internet Archive for “infringement.”

In recent weeks, their ire has been trained in particular on the National Emergency Library, a policy announced in March whereby multiple people can read the same book without having to wait for others to finish.

"The Internet Archive hopes to fool the public by calling its piracy website a ‘library’; but there’s a more accurate term for taking what you don’t own: ‘stealing,’ " Douglas Preston, president of The Authors Guild said in a statement supporting the publishers’ lawsuit Monday.

“What Internet Archive is doing is no different than heaving a brick through a grocery store window and handing out the food — and then congratulating itself for providing a public service,” Preston continued. “It’s not a public service to violate the rights of thousands of hard-working authors, most of whom desperately need the income.”

Temporary National Emergency Library to close 2 weeks early, returning to traditional controlled digital lending

Posted on June 10, 2020 by Brewster Kahle

Within a few days of the announcement that libraries, schools and colleges across the nation would be closing due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we launched the temporary National Emergency Library to provide books to support emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation during the closures.

We have heard hundreds of stories from librarians, authors, parents, teachers, and students about how the NEL has filled an important gap during this crisis.

Ben S., a librarian from New Jersey, for example, told us that he used the NEL “to find basic life support manuals needed by frontline medical workers in the academic medical center I work at. Our physical collection was closed due to COVID-19 and the NEL allowed me to still make available needed health informational materials to our hospital patrons.” We are proud to aid frontline workers.

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.

Posted in Announcements, News | Tagged NEL | 12 Replies

i was wrong

i posted this on a friend’s “open call” fb thread on “how are you doing?” so i’m copying it here too lol. this is therapy i guess.

i’m going through a very uncomfortable change in position in real time in the last twelve hours. this is a “life comes at me fast” moment. it’s about me being anti-copyright vs me wanting to support authors.

about twelve hours ago, i found out about the internet archive’s emergency library only through a facebook friend linking this article on four publishes suing the ia. Publishers Sue Internet Archive For 'Mass Copyright Infringement' : NPR

my first reaction (which has now changed) was fuck capitalism, fuck the publishers blaming individuals for “stealing” while they’re the ones stealing from authors, the whole system is fucked.

then i started finding out what some authors themselves think. i didn’t know about this from march: Authors, Publishers Condemn The 'National Emergency Library' As 'Piracy' : NPR

this a compilation of a bunch of authors tweets and quotes, also from march, that i read after already forming my first opinion, which was “protect the internet archive!” … Authors Push Back Against "National Emergency Library"

i’m really upset because part of my “identity” is “anti-copyright, pro-internet archive” so it’s really difficult for me to read authors i love and respect speak out against something the IA is doing and make fun of them for calling themselves a library and telling me i’m stealing. it makes me feel like my authors are insulting me. but they’re not. they don’t know me lol. what they’re doing is telling me about their lived experience of working as an author under capitalism.

in order to wrap my brain around this, my first reaction to these authors’ reaction was, like before, along the lines of “how dare you participate in capitalist propaganda shifting blame from the system to individuals? they want you to do this so we never change the system.” but me telling authors how they’re wrong to feel the way they do is paternalistic and stupid and i’m literally wrong. like, i don’t know better than them, actually. i know this because they have written books about capitalism and how the system is fucking us all.

so it’s been a weird twelve hours warring with myself and my assumptions in my own head and i need a therapist.

i’m a hypocrite, too. i’ll pay at&t for cell service and i’ll pay blizzard $15/mo to play world of warcraft not on a private server, but i want to download books for free? that shows what i’m voting for with my wallet and it’s not a good look. anyway i was wrong to assume that ending user limits on borrowing digital only hurts copyright troll lawyers and the top echelons of publishers/corporations. if an author i love is telling me it hurts her too, i have to listen, and this is hard for me, because i don’t want to believe it’s true.

i want to start everything over and have both books and food be freely accessible to all and have authors be able to eat.

1 Like

Hmmm. Here’s some simplified thinking:

  • Internet Archive: trying to share knowledge, bumping against systems in place
  • Authors: we don’t know. We know what some celebrities said, but even they don’t know how authors live, and their guilds lie. Also, they are profit-seeking; not to exploit, to survive.
  • Publishers: can get fucked. Profit, pure and simple. Taking it from everyone, never taking the blame.
  • Books: we don’t distribute books, we market them. Everyone can have a book, but industry is to convince a person to pay for one book instead of another. I’m a living being in the universe, I’ve no time for this philosophical bullshit. Share the knowledge.

I know it is compelling to side with authors, but we’re in this together. It isn’t authors versus non-authors. They deserve to have their needs met and not suffer because A) their industry/bosses don’t support them, or B) the IA is sharing knowledge. But when you measure A versus B, it seems clear to me.

Pretty sure IA wins.

And also, this entire industry is controlled by old money that’s run the industry for hundreds of years, merging into mega-corps, and we are all very used to it. But is haven’t been like this for very long, and it certainly won’t be like this in a short time from now, if we’re lucky.

Tear it down. Build it up. :slight_smile:

Also, Amazon has done more to damage authors, their incomes, and the whole of book publishing industry, but da fuck is the Author’s Guild or publishers doing to protect authors? :shrug: