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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.

Previously:

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


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02 2020, @07:20PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02 2020, @07:20PM (#978419)

    See (#978414) for some history.

    The Berne convention on copyright from 1886 (over 100 years ago), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention#Copyright_term [wikipedia.org] set (C) at 50 years after the death of the author--

    Copyright term

    The Berne Convention states that all works except photographic and cinematographic shall be copyrighted for at least 50 years after the author's death, but parties are free to provide longer terms,[9] as the European Union did with the 1993 Directive on harmonising the term of copyright protection. For photography, the Berne Convention sets a minimum term of 25 years from the year the photograph was created, and for cinematography the minimum is 50 years after first showing, or 50 years after creation if it hasn't been shown within 50 years after the creation. Countries under the older revisions of the treaty may choose to provide their own protection terms, and certain types of works (such as phonorecords and motion pictures) may be provided shorter terms.

    If the author is unknown because for example the author was deliberately anonymous or worked under a pseudonym, the Convention provides for a term of 50 years after publication ("after the work has been lawfully made available to the public"). However, if the identity of the author becomes known, the copyright term for known authors (50 years after death) applies.

  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday April 02 2020, @09:54PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 02 2020, @09:54PM (#978459) Journal

    Being old doesn't make it being right. Especially making the length of the copyright dependent on the length of the author's life seems fundamentally wrong.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.