Internet Archive loses copyright infringement lawsuit

A judge on Friday ruled against Internet Archive, a free online digital library, in a lawsuit brought by four top publishers who claimed the company was in violation of copyright laws. The publishers, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House filed suit against Internet Archive in 2020, allegingThe company had illegally scanned and uploaded 127 of their books for readers to download for free, detracting from their sales and the authors’ royalties.

U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koeltl ruled in favor of the publishing companies, saying that Internet Archive was making “derivativeworks by converting print books into e-books and distributing them. The digital The model of the library also contradicted itself standard public libraries that can only lend the number of books in their collection. Internet Archive was reportedly lending out more digital copies than was allowed Internet Archive argued that it had every right to lend books under the learn from fair use stating that “purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research do not constitute copyright infringement.”

The Authors Guild reports this on Twitter after that it supports Koeltl’s decision and contrary to Internet Archive’s claims said “scanning and lending books without permission or fee is NOT fair use – it is theft and it devalues ​​authors’ works.”

Koeltl’s decision was based in part on the law that libraries must pay publishers for the continued use of their digital book copies and that they can only lend these digital copies a certain number of times, called controlled digital lending, as agreed in advance by the publisher. pay to renew his license.

“Libraries are more than the customer service departments for corporate database products. For democracy to thrive on a global scale, libraries must be able to preserve their historical role in society: owning, preserving and lending books,” Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle said in a statement. rack. He continued, “This ruling is a blow to libraries, readers and authors and we intend to appeal it.”

However, according to the court rulingHachette and Penguin offer libraries one- or two-year terms, during which the e-book can be rented an unlimited number of times before the library must purchase a new license. HarperCollins allows the library to circulate a digital copy 26 times before renewing its license, while Wiley has continued to experiment with different subscription models.

The judge ruled that because Internet Archive only bought the book once before scanning it and each digital copy was loaned an unlimited number of times, it is a copyright infringement and “takes care of how libraries lend out eBooks.”

Maria A. Pallante, president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers, said in a statement: “By rejecting arguments that would have driven fair use to illogical marks, the Court underlined the importance of authors, publishers and creative markets in a global community.” She added: “We hope that the advice will prove to be educational for the defendant and anyone who feels that public laws are against their own interests.”

Internet Archive plans to appeal the judge’s decision. The online digital library did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.


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