The Bookseller – News – Publishers Seek Summary Judgment Against Internet Archive Over Copyright Infringement Claims


The publishers have sought summary judgment against the Internet Archive (IA) alleging a “large-scale infringement enterprise” of tens of thousands of books.

Brewster Kahle’s organization has been criticized for its mass digitization and distribution of literary works in a process called Controlled Digital Lending (CDL).

Member companies of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed an initial lawsuit against IA in June 2020 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Among the plaintiffs are Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Random House and Wiley.

The Publishers Association (PA) voiced support for its American colleagues at the time, rejecting IA’s claims that it was a library. “In this guise, it facilitates the distribution of millions of pirated books without paying a penny to the authors and publishers who produce them,” he said.

Updating its progress on July 8, the AAP said, “After two years of litigation, the motion for summary judgment establishes a clear case showing that the law and the facts of the case are overwhelmingly in favor of the publishers.”

He added: “The filings show that the unlawful mass digitization, public display and distribution of literary works by AI is in direct violation of copyright law and in direct competition with legally binding marketplaces. allowed for library and consumer e-books.

“IA offers its unauthorized copies to the general public through a global company called ‘Open Library’ and, previously, through a service called ‘National Emergency Library.’ Defendant’s activities are part of a larger business enterprise that not only provides access to the books, but also adds to its bottom line. »

He claimed that between 2011 and 2020, IA had earned around $30m (£25m) from libraries to digitize books in their collections.

The lawsuit names 127 literary works, including books by authors such as Toni Morrison, Malcolm Gladwell and Ann Patchett. It says there are more than 33,000 titles on the Internet Archive site belonging to the four complaining publishers and their authors, although millions more are distributed.

According to the AAP, at the time the complaint was filed, IA had reproduced and made available for download approximately 1.3 million scans of printed books. Since the lawsuit, the AI ​​has “significantly accelerated the pace of its infringing activities” and is making more than three million copyrighted e-books available to the public, it is claimed.

Maria A Pallante, President and CEO of the AAP, said: “Outrageously, IA has wrapped its large-scale counterfeiting business in a cloak of public service, but this posture is an affront to the most fundamental principles of copyright law.

“We hope and expect the court to uphold established legal precedent, including recognizing that formats are neither fungible nor free, but rather a key means by which authors and publishers exercise their copyrights, develop new markets and contribute to public progress”.

The IA founder previously called the lawsuit “unnecessary” and asked the publishers to drop it and work with the organization instead, calling CDL a “long-standing and widespread library practice.”

The bookstore has contacted IA for comment.

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