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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the book-'em,-Danno? dept.

Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site

Several major publishers have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in a New York court targeting the Internet Archive's Open Library. According to the complaint, the project is a massive and willful infringement project that amounts to little more than a regular pirate site.

Back in March, the Internet Archive responded to the coronavirus pandemic by offering a new service to help "displaced learners".

Combining scanned books from three libraries, the Archive offered unlimited borrowing of more than a million books, so that people could continue to learn while in quarantine.

While the move was welcomed by those in favor of open access to education, publishers and pro-copyright groups slammed the decision, with some describing it as an attempt to bend copyright law and others declaring the project as mass-scale piracy.

Today, major publishers Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Penguin Random House LLC went to war with the project by filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive and five 'Doe' defendants in a New York court.

Complaint (PDF).

See also: Lawsuit over online book lending could bankrupt Internet Archive

Previously: Internet Archive's Open Library Now Supports Full-Text Searches for All 4+ Million Items
Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency
Authors Fume as Online Library "Lends" Unlimited Free Books
University Libraries Offer Online "Lending" of Scanned In-Copyright Books


Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:35PM (14 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:35PM (#1002714)

    It takes a long time to get to the point.
        (Saying things like 17 USC 108 makes this ok for libraries, but the Archive is not a library, but then doesn't mention that 17 USC 108 also covers archives. Strange.)

    Around 109 in the complaint was more coherent.
    Basically that controlled digital lending with a controlled owned to loan ration might be ok, but the archive was neither controlling the lending or keeping the number of owned copies.

    That seems a fact that is findable and one would hope the the archive has their ducks carefully aligned.

    The Internet archive is a useful thing, the world would be worse off if they were taken out, but that doesn't make it ok to ignore the law.
    Not sure how/if the Pandemic changes this. That's a judgement call.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:18PM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:18PM (#1002749)

    I'm glad that they're doing it, but I don't see how this is any different from pirate sites for the reasons you state. We definitely need to scale copyright law back to something more reasonable, but this kind of sharing shouldn't be legal. People genuinely need to have the ability to restrict sharing otherwise they'll be stuck charging huge sums of money for the first copy, knowing that they'll receive no further payment.

    Just imagine if you'd have to charge $200k for an album, or probably more, that's crazy, but that's likely what you'd be left with if copyright were to allow things like what the Internet Archive is doing here.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:43PM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:43PM (#1002855)

      musicians can get paid for performances instead of trying to charge for listening at home. They can quit releasing every song if they want to increase demand for the live shows. Authors could possibly be paid that 200k by crowdfunding or they can limit access to their works to members via their own sites/apps instead of distributing through other parties. I think blockchain based solutions for this already exist.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:51PM (10 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:51PM (#1002889)

        Are you a musician or author?
        Didn't think so. Plonk.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:05PM (#1002896)

          Imaginary property gets stolen. Womp womp.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:37PM (5 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:37PM (#1002909)

          Plato says that if you are a doctor to make money, you are a fee-collector, not a physician. Similarly, if you are in music or art to make money, you are a businessperson, not an artist. Now go shut the fuck up, you parasite collector!!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:44PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:44PM (#1002913)

            Do you have any idea how expensive it can be to record a complicated album, film a movie or write a book? Not all artwork can be produced without a source of revenue and patronage is not without issues.

            • (Score: 5, Insightful) by VLM on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:06PM (2 children)

              by VLM (445) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:06PM (#1002919)

              A lot cheaper than 50 years ago, thats for certain...

              There's no right to have a job sector preserved for all eternity for record company musicians or coal miners or gas station attendants or horse stable employees. Maybe the business of creating imaginary property to charge rent against it for all eternity is simply obsolete.

              NYC big corporate commercial music will go away. Most people hate on it anyway. Actual good music has always come from people working side hustles and such.

              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:01PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:01PM (#1002957)

                I agree. No one has an inherit right to intellectual property. IP laws need to be held up to the same standard that we expect all other laws to be held up to. Their purpose should be to provide a net social benefit. To promote the progress of science and useful arts. Unfortunately their purpose has been twisted by lobbyists to promote corporate profits over the public interest. That's why it keeps getting expanded and extended, it's now opt out instead of opt in, and the penalty structure is one sided.

                That's not to say that IP should be abolished. But serious reform is needed to make it serve the public interest and not just corporate interests.

                • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:09AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:09AM (#1003127)

                  Of course the corporate lobbyists that lobby for making IP laws worse and worse claim that it's about promoting the 'rights' (privileges) of artists and helping them out. So many things wrong with that.

                  A: Artists have no such rights. IP is a privilege.

                  B: It's not really about promoting the privileges of artists and helping them out. That's a lie It's about corporate profits. They use the artists as a scapegoat for their true underlying motives.

                  C: Even if it is really about the artist it should not be about the artist. Artists have no such 'rights', it's a privilege. It should only be about the public.

            • (Score: 3, Touché) by bzipitidoo on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:17AM

              by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:17AM (#1003030) Journal

              I can't think of a profession with a lower barrier of entry than writing. The equipment needed is incredibly low cost, if you go the low tech route of pen and paper. Even using a computer is not a big barrier. You don't need a powerful computer just to write. The lowest of low end computers is more than adequate for that, stuff that businesses routinely discard to make room for newer equipment.

        • (Score: 1) by anubi on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:51AM (1 child)

          by anubi (2828) on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:51AM (#1003002) Journal

          I am a content creator.

          When I release my creations into the public, I consider them ads for what I can do. If someone wants to retain me for private and confidential work, that is between me and them.

          I support Copyright for, say, ten years, for theatrical works and specific mechanizations of some work, like how a vise-grip toggling mechanism is integrated into it's design, knowing that toggling mechanisms themselves are public by now.

          More and more, I am seeing the basic tenents of copyright being used to enforce public ignorance for the immediate benefit of a very few.

          Gutenberg probably wins the all time prize for enabling copyright violation, without it, the internet and our way of life probably would not be.

          Ignorance is not bliss.

          I see what I see only because I stand on the shoulders of those before me. And this paradise we are building can collapse like a Tower of Babel should too many of us become ignorant and cannot maintain the infrastructure our parents left us.

          A bunch of Congressmen do not have the power to pen law to compel broken infrastructure to continue to function. Already, way too many of us in this nation are ignorant in the matters as to how to keep our stuff running, and the remnants of the baby boomers who grew up in the heyday of science are dying out.

          Who will fix your stuff?

          --
          "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
          • (Score: 4, Funny) by kazzie on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:03PM

            by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:03PM (#1003263)

            I am a content creator.

            I'm glad you're content.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:21AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:21AM (#1003034)

          I'm a musician. Tens of thousands of people already release their music freely.
          Plus, musicians mostly make money through touring (this has basically always been true). Album sales are down (not just because of outright piracy, but because streaming is the new hotness). Revenue from streaming is fairly low.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @09:53AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @09:53AM (#1003120)

      Copyright on educational books shouldn't be allowed to begin with.