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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

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  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Friday June 05 2020, @06:39PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Friday June 05 2020, @06:39PM (#1003883) Journal

    > 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.

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