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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday June 13 2020, @02:16PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the never-let-them-see-fear dept.

Internet Archive ends "emergency library" early to appease publishers:

The Internet Archive has ended its National Emergency Library programs two weeks earlier than originally scheduled, the organization announced in a Wednesday blog post.

"We moved up our schedule because, last Monday, four commercial publishers chose to sue Internet Archive during a global pandemic," the group wrote. The online library called on publishers to "call off their costly assault."

[...] If the publishers dropped their lawsuit now, they would be tacitly conceding the legality of CDL[1] and potentially endangering the revenues they currently earn from licensing e-books to libraries for digital checkout. Also, the Internet Archive's decision to stop its emergency lending now is unlikely to protect it from liability for lending it has done over the last three months.

A win for the publishers could easily bankrupt the Internet Archive. Copyright law allows statutory damages for willful infringement to go as high as $150,000 per work, and the Internet Archive has scanned 1.4 million works and offered them for online download. So the Internet Archive could easily face damages in the billions of dollars if it loses the lawsuit. That's far beyond the group's ability to pay.

[1] CDL - controlled digital lending - One electronic loan per physical copy in the library.

Previously:
Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site
Authors Fume as Online Library "Lends" Unlimited Free Books
Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency


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

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

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

Internet Archive Files Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Publisher Copyright Infringement Lawsuit 34 comments

Internet Archive Tells Court its Digital Library is Protected Under Fair Use

The Internet Archive has filed its answer and affirmative defenses in response to a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a group of publishers. Among other things, IA believes that its work is protected under the doctrine of fair use and the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA.

[...] The statement spends time explaining the process of CDL – Controlled Digital Lending – noting that the Internet Archive provides a digital alternative to traditional libraries carrying physical books. As such, it "poses no new harm to authors or the publishing industry."

[...] "The Internet Archive has made careful efforts to ensure its uses are lawful. The Internet Archive's CDL program is sheltered by the fair use doctrine, buttressed by traditional library protections. Specifically, the project serves the public interest in preservation, access and research—all classic fair use purposes," IA's answer reads.

"As for its effect on the market for the works in question, the books have already been bought and paid for by the libraries that own them. The public derives tremendous benefit from the program, and rights holders will gain nothing if the public is deprived of this resource."

Internet Archive's Answer and Affirmative Defenses (PDF).

Previously: Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency
Authors Fume as Online Library "Lends" Unlimited Free Books
Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site
Internet Archive Ends "Emergency Library" Early to Appease Publishers
EFF and California Law Firm Durie Tangri Defending Internet Archive from Publisher Lawsuit


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:00PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:00PM (#1007448)

    How many readers were underprivileged blacks who couldn't afford to purchase books from the oppressive white-owned publishing houses with their intellectual "property" monopolies? This subjugation must stop... #EliminateCopyright #EverythingForEveryoneForFree

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:09PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:09PM (#1007452) Journal

      Copyright already had its skull bashed in by the internet. Copyright law is merely performative now.

      1337x.to/sort-search/New%20York%20Times%20Best/time/desc/1/

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by fustakrakich on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:54PM

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:54PM (#1007463) Journal

        Copyright law is merely performative now.

        It provides pretext to knock your door down and steal your computer whenever their dogs get hungry

        --
        Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:17PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:17PM (#1007454)

    And yet copyright reform is still far away into the future.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @11:04PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @11:04PM (#1007590)

      Campaign finance reform is necessary before we can have copyright reform. Right now the content publishers bribe^H^H^H^H give contributions to the politicians who will do anything the publishers say as long as the money keeps flowing.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15 2020, @09:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15 2020, @09:19PM (#1008336)

        Don't forget: people happily fork over their $$$$$ to the content publishers.

        The publisher then gives $ to the politicians to keep the rules in their favor, $ to the performers and creators, lose $ on most of what they back, but ultimately then take $$ for themselves.

        And most people find this system acceptable.

        The creators who don't market it themselves. Some make $$$. A very few make $$$$$. Most don't make even $. (In other words, those middle men really do have reasons to exist).

        Many consumers who don't want to do this break the law. Most probably get away with it. The few who don't are then hounded for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ when they only have $$$$$. Nothing prevents the consumer from forgoing their music and instead giving their $$$$$ to the politicians so that the law gets changed. One could form a PAC for this purpose, come to that. But such people have already proven they don't want to work within the confines of the law or change it, it's more convenient to just break the law and hope you ain't the one caught.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @03:32PM (#1007459)

    Even the mighty G caved to these assholes.

    Good thing Brewster never had any warning this would happen.

  • (Score: 2) by Flyingmoose on Saturday June 13 2020, @10:38PM (4 children)

    by Flyingmoose (4369) <mooseNO@SPAMflyingmoose.com> on Saturday June 13 2020, @10:38PM (#1007582) Homepage

    Did Internet Archive actually think this would turn out well? We already know the publishers love to sue...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @11:14PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 13 2020, @11:14PM (#1007592)

      They wanted to make a 'splash' about what they were doing. They got the attention of everyone.

      They would have been better off just switching it off and not saying anything. Just present 'available for loan' and not say anything. *NO* one would have known any different probably for months. If it came up 'oh have to look into that, that does not sound right'.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 14 2020, @01:45AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 14 2020, @01:45AM (#1007633)

      A huge library of out-of-copyright books and films, accessible to everyone, makes rewriting the history that much more complicated.
      Closing the project down for some contrived reason, could make people suspect something.
      A self-destruction by judge, however, may be sold to the masses as "unintended consequences of a good deed".

      • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Monday June 15 2020, @09:25PM

        by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Monday June 15 2020, @09:25PM (#1008342) Journal

        I think you misread the story. Internet Archive / libraries are still free to loan e-copies of the books to the limit of licenses/copies that were purchased. Including in-copyright books. (Indeed, if one wants out-of-copyright books the place is Project Gutenberg, not Internet Archive).

        What's being eliminated here was Internet Archive's notion that they could lend as many copies as they wanted to without worrying about licensing because "emergency."

        --
        Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 14 2020, @06:22AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 14 2020, @06:22AM (#1007682)

    True as always

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