Publishers Filed a Lawsuit Against Internet Archive
In a lawsuit filed in New York City a group of large publishing companies accuses the Internet Archive of massive copyright infringement. According to the complaint, plaintiffs John Wiley & Sons, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers and Penguin Random House, accuse the Internet Archive of creating an “astonishing” scheme of “willful digital piracy” along with intentional and systematic copyright infringement.
Publishers Dispute Legitimacy of Internet Archive “Library”
The Internet Archive (“IA”) describes itself as a nonprofit library that lends digital copies of books to the public. Historically, according to NPR.org, IA has implemented a waitlist. The waitlist was to ensure that only one digital copy of a particular book was borrowed at a time. A New York Times article stated the IA contains over 1 million books that have been digitized and “made available to one borrower at a time for a period of 14 days.”
In their complaint, the publishers allege that even the ordinary actions of IA “grossly exceed legitimate library services.” Instead, the lawsuit states, IA “produces mirror- image copies of millions of unaltered in-copyright works for which it has no rights and distributes them in their entirety for reading purposes to the public for free, including voluminous numbers of books that are currently commercially available.”
Creation of National Emergency Library Sparks Lawsuit
In March, IA announced that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was creating a “national emergency library.”
The group said that it “would lift all restrictions on its book lending until the end of the public health crisis, creating what it called “a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners.”
While many publishers have long-felt the IA has been infringing on copyrights, its announcement in March was the last straw. “IA’s blatant, willful infringement is all the more egregious for its timing, which comes at the very moment that many authors, publishers, and independent bookstores, not to mention libraries, are both struggling to survive amidst economic uncertainty and planning deliberatively for future, changing markets.”
Laws Might be Complicated by Digitization, But They Still Protect Copyright
The ability to digitize someone’s text results in difficulty controlling where and when your work shows up. We see it with photographs and social media, music, and books. Authors and photographers are finding it imperative to assert control when they can and remind everyone that copyright laws exist to protect their livelihood.
If You Are Concerned About Your Copyright, Call Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, Today.
Our lawyers at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, dedicate themselves to protecting the rights of photographers, authors, and artists around the globe. Call us today if someone is violating your copyright or the terms of a licensing agreement. You can reach Liebowitz Law Firm at 800-778-1660.