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.
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
(Score: 2) by Wootery on Friday June 05 2020, @09:54AM (1 child)
There's at least one: games consoles. Modern consoles are holding up very well against hackers' attempts to subvert their DRM.
The fact that it costs tens of millions of dollars to implement a modern game, of course!
Agreed. It's impossible by nature to implement effective DRM for video, books, music, or audiobooks. It reduces down to the basic analog/digital distinction: people already have the ability to record, and you can't take that away by encrypting your media. Interactive media is a different beast though.
(Honourable mention to the idea of uniquely watermarking every copy of a film or song, so that if it ends up being pirated the studios know who did it. To my knowledge this watermarking technology does exist, but the idea just never really took off. Wouldn't work for books, of course.)
We have that: Kickstarter. It rarely works as well as the traditional game-development model, either in terms of actually raising capital, or in terms of getting the job done, with effective management etc.
Same goes for cinema. Crowdfunding is not able to pull off the kinds of high-budget productions that the traditional model is capable of. Even if it could, you have a free-rider problem and a dilution problem. Why donate a small amount that might make a difference, when you can just wait for it to be produced and then consume it for free?
There's also an uncertainty problem and an immediacy problem. Most people are casual consumers of media. They spend a certain amount of money on cinema every year by paying for access to the good films that have already been funded and produced. They can rely on reviews and word-of-mouth to provide an estimate of the films' quality. They aren't going to spend time trying to determine what's most deserving of funding so that it might produce a good product. They just want to buy a film from a shop and then watch it. (Or the streaming-based equivalent.)
As for music: live performances are already a major source of revenue for big-name musicians, but I'm not convinced it would be sustainable to withdraw music copyright entirely.
Musicians already have the option to adopt a patronage model, and to release their stuff into the public domain. They pretty much never choose to do this. I've never heard of it at least, outside narrow promotions (Coldplay once released one of their albums free, for instance).
That's true of every law, whether about ownership rights or not.
This is true in the sense that you always have the option of pirating music/films/books, sure, but at the same time it's famously rare for independent developers of Free and Open Source software (or any old freeware) to be able to get by on donations and patronage.
Music is an industry. They've got to pay for recording equipment, they've got to pay the sound engineer, construction of the recording studio, the folks who do the mixing and mastering work, etc. It may be bloated, I don't know in detail, but I'm not convinced the music industry can be reduced to artists on the one hand, and freeloaders on the other. I'm sure the top brass are obscenely overpaid, but that's a different and more general problem.
(Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Friday June 05 2020, @06:39PM
> We have that: Kickstarter. It rarely works as well as the traditional game-development model
I'd rather see some evidence to back that claim that it doesn't work as well. Humble Bundle appears to be working quite well. Even if you are correct, the reasons why are likely much more complicated than a simple "copyright works better than crowdfunding" conclusion. For one thing, copyright extremists will sabotage crowdfunding efforts. We've seen this over and over. Some classic enjoys a resurgence, new material is produced through crowdfunding, then the franchise owners wake up, and demand it all stop. They refuse to explain, but it's not hard to see that their actions undermine the development of systems that could someday supersede copyright.
> you have a free-rider problem and a dilution problem. Why donate a small amount that might make a difference, when you can just wait
But that already happens massively, under copyright. There are used book and record stores, and public libraries. "Just wait" is a highly effective strategy for the impoverished consumer to keep expenses down. "Just wait" for the paperback edition. "Just wait" some more, for used paperback editions to reach the used bookstore. Just pass books around between friends.
I've noticed that it is very common for people to overlook that an old established method does not meet the high standards they are insisting a proposed new method must meet.
> That's true of every law, whether about ownership rights or not.
Not at all. For example, many traffic laws are of the sort that if not obeyed, the violator is likely to suffer immediate and deadly consequences. Driving on the wrong side of the road is not only illegal, it's asking to die of a head-on collision.
> Music is an industry. They've got to pay for recording equipment, they've got to pay the sound engineer
Technology has brought many of those costs way, way down.
> it's famously rare for independent developers of Free and Open Source software (or any old freeware) to be able to get by on donations and patronage.
So it is. But it has happened. I suspect the difficulties are more down to the lack of robust and established systems. to insure everyone is getting a fair deal, than to the notion that maybe, it just doesn't work and never will. Copyright now works so badly that it is a very low bar indeed to come up with something better. The goal, it should be remembered, is "Progress of Science and useful Arts", but too often copyright has resulted in the opposite.