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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 03 2020, @01:00AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 03 2020, @01:00AM (#978506)

    > Information can be supplied by the outraged authors.

    Not an outraged author, just an author, and yes, I did that several years ago. Open Library lets anyone logged in edit the description page for a book. They have my reference book in their database*, but don't have a copy, so I added a few lines explaining where to find the best price (hint, it's not on Amazon, not by a long shot).

    * not sure where they get their catalog, perhaps they use Library of Congress (LoC) data? Perhaps 15 years ago LoC had the book cataloged incorrectly--said there was a paperback edition (there is not). I sent LoC a short note and after a few weeks they thanked me for the correction.