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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, @09:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02 2020, @09:28PM (#978455)

    That's the thing that gets me. They're going to get sued. There's no conceivable way that they could have thought they wouldn't get sued.

    So... why did they announce this? They could have _done_ this and no one would have known. Even if not unlimited, they could have just applied a multiplier. Check out 2x or 3x the number of available copies -- many more readers, many books, put out some PR about how Archive.org checks out books from its collection for free -- everyone wins, no one gets sued.

    What is going on?