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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday April 02 2020, @08:28AM   Printer-friendly
from the writers-gotta-eat dept.

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.


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

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  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday April 02 2020, @03:42PM (1 child)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday April 02 2020, @03:42PM (#978336)

    Back in the "old days", creators used to live on the patron model: patrons gave them money so they'd create works for them. This is how Mozart earned a living, for instance.

    Copyright sounds like a good idea: give authors a limited time to have exclusive control over their work, and then release it to society in the public domain, after ~20 years. But now it's been totally perverted by the copyright cartels so that stuff almost never falls into the public domain until all the copies of it have been destroyed by sheer age, unless someone bothered to illegally copy it, which is what we see with software. There's an enormous amount of software out there which would no longer exist if some people hadn't been "pirating" it.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17 2020, @06:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17 2020, @06:36PM (#984241)

    Most people don't realize how much further information could be gleaned about the 'real' hardware of the era versus its documented capabilities, as well as code hacks that cause subtle bugs that may exhibit in emulation once no one knows why those bugs exist, and whether they were intended or unintended operation of the code in question.

    The amount of history being lost because we aren't appropriating and archiving copies of raw source code, revision control, etc for future generations is obscene and more than a little sad.

    *said while looking at a pile of computer systems from 1983 to 2010.