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posted by takyon on Friday April 10 2020, @06:12PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the trying-book-times dept.

University libraries offer online "lending" of scanned in-copyright books:

The coronavirus crisis has forced the closure of libraries around the world, depriving the public of access to millions of printed books. Books old enough to be in the public domain may be available for free download online. Many recent books are available to borrow in e-book form. But there are many other books—especially those published in the mid-to-late 20th century—that are hard to access without going to a physical library.

A consortium of university libraries called HathiTrust recently announced a solution to this problem, called the Emergency Temporary Access Service. It allows participating HathiTrust member libraries to offer their patrons digital scans of books that they can "check out" and read online.

HathiTrust has a history of pushing the boundaries of copyright. It was the defendant in a landmark 2014 ruling that established the legality of library book scanning. At the time, HathiTrust was only allowing people with print disabilities to access the full text of scanned books. Now HathiTrust is expanding access to more people—though still with significant limits.

The program is only available to patrons of member libraries like the Cornell library. Libraries can only "lend" as many copies of the book as it has physical copies on its shelves. Loans last for an hour and are automatically renewed if a patron is still viewing a book at the hour's end. If you want to read a book that's currently in use by another patron, you have to wait until they're finished.

These limits distinguish HathiTrust's service from another recently announced "emergency library." Two weeks ago, the Internet Archive announced it was offering the general public the opportunity to check out 1.4 million scanned books. During the pandemic, the Internet Archive isn't limiting the number of people who can "borrow" a book simultaneously.

Previously: Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency
Authors Fume as Online Library "Lends" Unlimited Free Books


Original Submission

Related Stories

Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency 9 comments

Internet Archive offers 1.4 million copyrighted books for free online

One of the casualties of coronavirus-related social distancing measures has been public libraries, which are shut down in many communities around the world. This week, the Internet Archive, an online library best known for running the Internet's Wayback Machine, announced a new initiative to expand access to digital books during the pandemic.

For almost a decade, an Internet Archive program called the Open Library has offered people the ability to "check out" digital scans of physical books held in storage by the Internet Archive. Readers can view a scanned book in a browser or download it to an e-reader. Users can only check out a limited number of books at once and are required to "return" them after a limited period of time.

Until this week, the Open Library only allowed people to "check out" as many copies as the library owned. If you wanted to read a book but all copies were already checked out by other patrons, you had to join a waiting list for that book—just like you would at a physical library.

Of course, such restrictions are artificial when you're distributing digital files. Earlier this week, with libraries closing around the world, the Internet Archive announced a major change: it is temporarily getting rid of these waiting lists.

"The Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation's displaced learners," the Internet Archive wrote in a Tuesday post. "This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later."


Original Submission

Authors Fume as Online Library “Lends” Unlimited Free Books 54 comments

Authors fume as online library "lends" unlimited free books:

For almost a decade, the Internet Archive, an online library best known for its Internet Wayback Machine, has let users "borrow" scanned digital copies of books held in its warehouse. Until recently, users could only check out as many copies as the organization had physical copies. But last week, The Internet Archive announced it was eliminating that restriction, allowing an unlimited number of users to check out a book simultaneously. The Internet Archive calls this the National Emergency Library.

Initial media coverage of the service was strongly positive. The New Yorker declared it a "gift to readers everywhere." But as word of the new service spread, it triggered a backlash from authors and publishers.

"As a reminder, there is no author bailout, booksellers bailout, or publisher bailout," author Alexander Chee tweeted on Friday. "The Internet Archive's 'emergency' copyrights grab endangers many already in terrible danger."

"It is a tarted-up piracy site," wrote author James Gleick.

Previously:

Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency


Original Submission

Public Domain Day in the USA: Works from 1925 are Open to All! 87 comments

Works from 1925 are now open to all! The Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School's blog covers the famous works which rise to the public domain on January 1st, 2021.

On January 1, 2021, copyrighted works from 1925 will enter the US public domain,1 where they will be free for all to use and build upon. These works include books such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, and Franz Kafka’s The Trial (in the original German), silent films featuring Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton, and music ranging from the jazz standard Sweet Georgia Brown to songs by Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, W.C. Handy, and Fats Waller.

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessley into the past."
F. Scott Fitsgerald, The Great Gatsby

This is not just the famous last line from The Great Gatsby. It also encapsulates what the public domain is all about. A culture is a continuing conversation between present and past. On Public Domain Day, we all have a “green light,” in keeping with the Gatsby theme, to use one more year of that rich cultural past, without permission or fee.

1925 was a good year for music. Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton were some of those active then. Though some consider it the best year so far for great books and many classics were published then, among them is the original German version of the all too relevant The Trial by Franz Kafka.

Previously:
(2020) Internet Archive Files Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Publisher Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
(2020) Internet Archive Ends “Emergency Library” Early to Appease Publishers
(2020) Project Gutenberg Public Domain Library Blocked in Italy for Copyright Infringement
(2020) ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ Turns 120
(2020) University Libraries Offer Online "Lending" of Scanned In-Copyright Books
(2019) The House Votes in Favor of Disastrous Copyright Bill


Original Submission

EFF and California Law Firm Durie Tangri Defending Internet Archive from Publisher Lawsuit 23 comments

EFF & Heavyweight Legal Team Will Defend Internet Archive's Digital Library Against Publishers

The EFF has revealed it is teaming up with law firm Durie Tangri to defend the Internet Archive against a lawsuit targeting its Open Library. According to court filings, the impending storm is shaping up to be a battle of the giants, with opposing attorneys having previously defended Google in book scanning cases and won a $1bn verdict for the RIAA against ISP Cox.

In March and faced with the chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Internet Archive (IA) launched its National Emergency Library (NEL). Built on its existing Open Library, the NEL provided users with unlimited borrowing of more than a million books, something which the IA hoped would help "displaced learners" restricted by quarantine measures.

After making a lot of noise in opposition to both the Open and Emergency libraries, publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley and Penguin Random House filed a massive copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive.

[...] Last evening the EFF announced that it is joining forces with California-based law firm Durie Tangri to defend the Internet Archive against a lawsuit which they say is a threat to IA's Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program. The CDL program allows people to check out scanned copies of books for which the IA and its partners can produce physically-owned copies. The publishers clearly have a major problem with the system but according to IA and EFF, the service is no different from that offered by other libraries. "EFF is proud to stand with the Archive and protect this important public service," says EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry.

Previously: Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency
Authors Fume as Online Library "Lends" Unlimited Free Books
University Libraries Offer Online "Lending" of Scanned In-Copyright Books
Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site
Internet Archive Ends "Emergency Library" Early to Appease Publishers


Original Submission

Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site 42 comments

Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site

Several major publishers have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in a New York court targeting the Internet Archive's Open Library. According to the complaint, the project is a massive and willful infringement project that amounts to little more than a regular pirate site.

Back in March, the Internet Archive responded to the coronavirus pandemic by offering a new service to help "displaced learners".

Combining scanned books from three libraries, the Archive offered unlimited borrowing of more than a million books, so that people could continue to learn while in quarantine.

While the move was welcomed by those in favor of open access to education, publishers and pro-copyright groups slammed the decision, with some describing it as an attempt to bend copyright law and others declaring the project as mass-scale piracy.

Today, major publishers Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Penguin Random House LLC went to war with the project by filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive and five 'Doe' defendants in a New York court.

Complaint (PDF).

See also: Lawsuit over online book lending could bankrupt Internet Archive

Previously: Internet Archive's Open Library Now Supports Full-Text Searches for All 4+ Million Items
Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency
Authors Fume as Online Library "Lends" Unlimited Free Books
University Libraries Offer Online "Lending" of Scanned In-Copyright Books


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by lentilla on Friday April 10 2020, @06:36PM (4 children)

    by lentilla (1770) on Friday April 10 2020, @06:36PM (#980888)

    "Lending" - what a daft conceit in the digital age!

    I sincerely hope this is a strategy by activists to point out the absurdity of "lending" things that can be copied, at will, at zero cost, ad infinitium. And I doubly hope that this strategy does not back-fire and result in the wholesale adoption of Digital Restrictions Management.

    Whilst we are on the absurdist path - perhaps instead of lending a whole book, we just lent by-the-page? Or maybe by-the-word would be more convenient?

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by DannyB on Friday April 10 2020, @06:49PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 10 2020, @06:49PM (#980889) Journal

      Lending.

      Lending copies of digital books.

      I remember when WikiLeaks first happened, long, long ago. Hillary said that the digital documents should be "returned".

      --
      OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday April 10 2020, @06:50PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 10 2020, @06:50PM (#980890) Journal

      How would printed scanned books have Digital Restrictions Management?

      --
      OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
      • (Score: 1) by petecox on Friday April 10 2020, @07:36PM (1 child)

        by petecox (3228) on Friday April 10 2020, @07:36PM (#980900)

        Laser Printer DRM.

        Be wary of any future version of, say, PostScript or PCL that watermarks a document with time bombed invisible ink. "This Document has EXPIRED".

        Oh crap, shouldn't give 'em any ideas.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:19PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:19PM (#981591) Journal

          It is a matter of time before the common man can build, or buy a kit, for a paper scanner and old fashioned inkjet printer. Or impact printer. How technology changes things.

          Your own home made scanner would not have to obey the DRM restrictions.

          --
          OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday April 10 2020, @06:53PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 10 2020, @06:53PM (#980891) Journal

    Copyright is going to collide right into people's free speech rights to do their own original things that just happen to have some similarity to something, that someone else might have done. Imagine two different people doing something similar!

    If Copyright holders want me to respect copyright, then they should not have stretched it beyond all recognizable bounds of sanity. When authors or creators die, they no longer have incentive to create additional works.

    Why should an author or creator's work benefit their children or grandchildren? A plumber does work once, gets paid for it, and doesn't keep continuing to get paid for it. Gee, I sure wish the work I did kept paying me forever and ever beyond my death.

    --
    OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
  • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Friday April 10 2020, @09:57PM (1 child)

    by jdavidb (5690) on Friday April 10 2020, @09:57PM (#980923) Homepage Journal

    recently announced a solution to this problem

    I have a solution, too.

    --
    ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:21PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:21PM (#981592) Journal

      <no-sarcasm>
      Sarcasm is the right of all sentient beings.
      </no-sarcasm>

      --
      OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday April 11 2020, @12:55AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 11 2020, @12:55AM (#980964) Homepage Journal

    If Pandora had only copyrighted all those things that escaped from the box, we could have rounded them up and put them back, right?

    --
    Make an actual interesting, germane, and relevant point and you may get away with Flamebait - 'Zumi
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 11 2020, @02:32AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 11 2020, @02:32AM (#980993)

    How much money will they make pushing works of fiction like the anne frank diary hoax and socialist scum like 'the capital' by the very jewish karl marx?

  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Saturday April 11 2020, @04:23AM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 11 2020, @04:23AM (#981019) Journal

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" Drive our cars no faster than 5mph, so that the average horse can keep up.

    It's so crazy that everyone is basically expected to avert their brains from the simple realizations that copying is both good and easy. However will those poor starving content owners feed their hungry children if just anyone can copy any data?

    Why are they more special than the rest of us? They flood us with bad propaganda, and bully, threaten and bluster, same as the worst among us.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by barbara hudson on Sunday April 12 2020, @03:38AM (1 child)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday April 12 2020, @03:38AM (#981408) Journal

    HathiTrust was only allowing people with print disabilities

    Is that like "printer out of toner" or "out of paper " or something?

    Or is just a stupid way to say visually handicapped without using the dreaded "handicapped " word?

    What next - differently print-enabled?

    --
    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:22PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:22PM (#981593) Journal

      Capt'n Handy is a better them than handicapped.

      Oh, I see they have a Capt'n Handy parking spot!

      --
      OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
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