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posted by martyb on Monday June 29 2020, @07:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the when-elephants-fight,-the-grass-gets-trampled dept.

EFF & Heavyweight Legal Team Will Defend Internet Archive's Digital Library Against Publishers

The EFF has revealed it is teaming up with law firm Durie Tangri to defend the Internet Archive against a lawsuit targeting its Open Library. According to court filings, the impending storm is shaping up to be a battle of the giants, with opposing attorneys having previously defended Google in book scanning cases and won a $1bn verdict for the RIAA against ISP Cox.

In March and faced with the chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Internet Archive (IA) launched its National Emergency Library (NEL). Built on its existing Open Library, the NEL provided users with unlimited borrowing of more than a million books, something which the IA hoped would help "displaced learners" restricted by quarantine measures.

After making a lot of noise in opposition to both the Open and Emergency libraries, publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley and Penguin Random House filed a massive copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive.

[...] Last evening the EFF announced that it is joining forces with California-based law firm Durie Tangri to defend the Internet Archive against a lawsuit which they say is a threat to IA's Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program. The CDL program allows people to check out scanned copies of books for which the IA and its partners can produce physically-owned copies. The publishers clearly have a major problem with the system but according to IA and EFF, the service is no different from that offered by other libraries. "EFF is proud to stand with the Archive and protect this important public service," says EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry.

Previously: 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
Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site
Internet Archive Ends "Emergency Library" Early to Appease Publishers

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  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Monday June 29 2020, @10:51PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday June 29 2020, @10:51PM (#1014288) Journal

    The indefensible is the publisher's preferred business model that is founded upon a scarcity that is wholly artificial. If the pandemic does nothing else good, it will at the least have exposed just how easy it is to forego the scarcity: do nothing. That's far easier than trying to enforce it, which requires all kinds of awkward and just plain odd and exhausting work to monitor, track, count, and process requests for access, as well as the impossible job of enforcement upon the unwilling.

    And the reasons for desiring the scarcity are very bad. If it was possible to force scarcity of knowledge upon people, and totally control their education, it would be possible to found upon that a tyranny so evil that the Dark Ages would look enlightened by comparison.

    You doubt the IA is within the law? It is far likelier that the publishers are overreaching. Again. They've done it so many times now, advanced ridiculously extreme interpretations of copyright, that there is little reason to show their notions respect, as you are apparently doing. They may be old and established, but that doesn't automatically make them venerable. To the contrary, it makes them highly suspect.

    The world has changed. Copying now belongs to the masses. Yet publishers refuse to accept this new reality, instead feeling they're such grievous victims, of piracy (itself a very intentionally pejorative use), and one thing we've seen is that those who imagine themselves as horribly wronged are often the worst bullies, vandals, and criminals, thinking their imagined sufferings somehow justify their own excesses. They're still in the first stages of grief: denial and anger.

    In short, publishers are Kopyright Karens.

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