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posted by takyon on Friday April 10 2020, @06:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the trying-book-times dept.

University libraries offer online "lending" of scanned in-copyright books:

The coronavirus crisis has forced the closure of libraries around the world, depriving the public of access to millions of printed books. Books old enough to be in the public domain may be available for free download online. Many recent books are available to borrow in e-book form. But there are many other books—especially those published in the mid-to-late 20th century—that are hard to access without going to a physical library.

A consortium of university libraries called HathiTrust recently announced a solution to this problem, called the Emergency Temporary Access Service. It allows participating HathiTrust member libraries to offer their patrons digital scans of books that they can "check out" and read online.

HathiTrust has a history of pushing the boundaries of copyright. It was the defendant in a landmark 2014 ruling that established the legality of library book scanning. At the time, HathiTrust was only allowing people with print disabilities to access the full text of scanned books. Now HathiTrust is expanding access to more people—though still with significant limits.

The program is only available to patrons of member libraries like the Cornell library. Libraries can only "lend" as many copies of the book as it has physical copies on its shelves. Loans last for an hour and are automatically renewed if a patron is still viewing a book at the hour's end. If you want to read a book that's currently in use by another patron, you have to wait until they're finished.

These limits distinguish HathiTrust's service from another recently announced "emergency library." Two weeks ago, the Internet Archive announced it was offering the general public the opportunity to check out 1.4 million scanned books. During the pandemic, the Internet Archive isn't limiting the number of people who can "borrow" a book simultaneously.

Previously: Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency
Authors Fume as Online Library "Lends" Unlimited Free Books


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by lentilla on Friday April 10 2020, @06:36PM (4 children)

    by lentilla (1770) on Friday April 10 2020, @06:36PM (#980888)

    "Lending" - what a daft conceit in the digital age!

    I sincerely hope this is a strategy by activists to point out the absurdity of "lending" things that can be copied, at will, at zero cost, ad infinitium. And I doubly hope that this strategy does not back-fire and result in the wholesale adoption of Digital Restrictions Management.

    Whilst we are on the absurdist path - perhaps instead of lending a whole book, we just lent by-the-page? Or maybe by-the-word would be more convenient?

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by DannyB on Friday April 10 2020, @06:49PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 10 2020, @06:49PM (#980889) Journal

      Lending.

      Lending copies of digital books.

      I remember when WikiLeaks first happened, long, long ago. Hillary said that the digital documents should be "returned".

      --
      If we tell conservatives that the climate is transitioning, they will work to stop it.
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday April 10 2020, @06:50PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 10 2020, @06:50PM (#980890) Journal

      How would printed scanned books have Digital Restrictions Management?

      --
      If we tell conservatives that the climate is transitioning, they will work to stop it.
      • (Score: 1) by petecox on Friday April 10 2020, @07:36PM (1 child)

        by petecox (3228) on Friday April 10 2020, @07:36PM (#980900)

        Laser Printer DRM.

        Be wary of any future version of, say, PostScript or PCL that watermarks a document with time bombed invisible ink. "This Document has EXPIRED".

        Oh crap, shouldn't give 'em any ideas.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:19PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:19PM (#981591) Journal

          It is a matter of time before the common man can build, or buy a kit, for a paper scanner and old fashioned inkjet printer. Or impact printer. How technology changes things.

          Your own home made scanner would not have to obey the DRM restrictions.

          --
          If we tell conservatives that the climate is transitioning, they will work to stop it.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday April 10 2020, @06:53PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 10 2020, @06:53PM (#980891) Journal

    Copyright is going to collide right into people's free speech rights to do their own original things that just happen to have some similarity to something, that someone else might have done. Imagine two different people doing something similar!

    If Copyright holders want me to respect copyright, then they should not have stretched it beyond all recognizable bounds of sanity. When authors or creators die, they no longer have incentive to create additional works.

    Why should an author or creator's work benefit their children or grandchildren? A plumber does work once, gets paid for it, and doesn't keep continuing to get paid for it. Gee, I sure wish the work I did kept paying me forever and ever beyond my death.

    --
    If we tell conservatives that the climate is transitioning, they will work to stop it.
  • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Friday April 10 2020, @09:57PM (1 child)

    by jdavidb (5690) on Friday April 10 2020, @09:57PM (#980923) Homepage Journal

    recently announced a solution to this problem

    I have a solution, too.

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    ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:21PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:21PM (#981592) Journal

      <no-sarcasm>
      Sarcasm is the right of all sentient beings.
      </no-sarcasm>

      --
      If we tell conservatives that the climate is transitioning, they will work to stop it.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday April 11 2020, @12:55AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 11 2020, @12:55AM (#980964) Journal

    If Pandora had only copyrighted all those things that escaped from the box, we could have rounded them up and put them back, right?

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    We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 11 2020, @02:32AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 11 2020, @02:32AM (#980993)

    How much money will they make pushing works of fiction like the anne frank diary hoax and socialist scum like 'the capital' by the very jewish karl marx?

  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Saturday April 11 2020, @04:23AM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday April 11 2020, @04:23AM (#981019) Journal

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" Drive our cars no faster than 5mph, so that the average horse can keep up.

    It's so crazy that everyone is basically expected to avert their brains from the simple realizations that copying is both good and easy. However will those poor starving content owners feed their hungry children if just anyone can copy any data?

    Why are they more special than the rest of us? They flood us with bad propaganda, and bully, threaten and bluster, same as the worst among us.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by barbara hudson on Sunday April 12 2020, @03:38AM (1 child)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday April 12 2020, @03:38AM (#981408) Journal

    HathiTrust was only allowing people with print disabilities

    Is that like "printer out of toner" or "out of paper " or something?

    Or is just a stupid way to say visually handicapped without using the dreaded "handicapped " word?

    What next - differently print-enabled?

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    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:22PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 12 2020, @05:22PM (#981593) Journal

      Capt'n Handy is a better them than handicapped.

      Oh, I see they have a Capt'n Handy parking spot!

      --
      If we tell conservatives that the climate is transitioning, they will work to stop it.
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