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posted by chromas on Saturday August 01 2020, @05:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-look-at-the-elephant-in-the-room^W-library dept.

Internet Archive Tells Court its Digital Library is Protected Under Fair Use

The Internet Archive has filed its answer and affirmative defenses in response to a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a group of publishers. Among other things, IA believes that its work is protected under the doctrine of fair use and the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA.

[...] The statement spends time explaining the process of CDL – Controlled Digital Lending – noting that the Internet Archive provides a digital alternative to traditional libraries carrying physical books. As such, it "poses no new harm to authors or the publishing industry."

[...] "The Internet Archive has made careful efforts to ensure its uses are lawful. The Internet Archive's CDL program is sheltered by the fair use doctrine, buttressed by traditional library protections. Specifically, the project serves the public interest in preservation, access and research—all classic fair use purposes," IA's answer reads.

"As for its effect on the market for the works in question, the books have already been bought and paid for by the libraries that own them. The public derives tremendous benefit from the program, and rights holders will gain nothing if the public is deprived of this resource."

Internet Archive's Answer and Affirmative Defenses (PDF).

Previously: Internet Archive Suspends E-Book Lending "Waiting Lists" During U.S. National Emergency
Authors Fume as Online Library "Lends" Unlimited Free Books
Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site
Internet Archive Ends "Emergency Library" Early to Appease Publishers
EFF and California Law Firm Durie Tangri Defending Internet Archive from Publisher Lawsuit


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  • (Score: 1, Troll) by wisnoskij on Saturday August 01 2020, @09:51PM (1 child)

    by wisnoskij (5149) <jonathonwisnoskiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday August 01 2020, @09:51PM (#1030043)

    What should it matter? Who cares if some library in illinois or liberia owns a copy of a book it is legally able to lend out, but currently has not. The IA does not own this book. Are you/they implying that some sort of contract was reached where they share some form of co ownership? I do not know how the law views this, but it makes no sense to me, similarly to how theaters pay more than 12 bucks to shown the licence to show a movie to thousands, an internet monopoly can't just buy a handful fo books and then lend them out ot the world. We currently have the technology where anyone with decent funding could give everyone in the world access to every book, tv show, movie, and video game while using 1/1000 the number of copies as the world currently uses. Google could turn around and tomorrow just give everyone in the world access to every book for free. Every author in the world would just have to work for .1% of their previous wage, in most cases this would be well under minimum wage.

    That said, I have never encountered this on the IA, the site is full of pirated materials I have downloaded many books and video games off of it over the years and you do not have to give them back. My understanding is that AI is completely exempt, but everyone who downloads these copyrighted works are still pirates.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02 2020, @12:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02 2020, @12:39AM (#1030100)

    From what I had heard about the whole thing, it's unlikely that they did any research at all into the legality of what they were doing before they started. Whether or not they should be allowed to make those works available for free during the pandemic, there appears to be no legal basis in doing so under the law as it is currently written.

    This is an extremely risky way to address the lawsuit as they could be on the hook for more money than exists in the entire world based upon how statutory damages work. If Jammie Thomas-Rasset had to pay out $222k for just 24 songs, imagine how much they'd have to pay for this amount. And in the Thomas-Rasset case they couldn't even prove that the files had ever been on her computer.