In late March, as quarantine measures began to reach the United States, the Internet Archive announced its decision to create the ‘National Emergency Library’, which would give access to 1.4 million books that were already part of the catalog of another of his projects, the Open Library.

This ’emergency library’ (whose novelty compared to the Open Library was that it suspended the waiting lists currently in force in the loan processes) it had to remain active, according to the original plan of its promoters, until the 30th of this month… or later, if the US national emergency situation it was extended.

The Book Publishers Association filed a lawsuit

However, the Internet Archive has had to announce the suspension his initiative prematurely (in the end it will be at the beginning of next week) due to a joint lawsuit filed by the main publishers, including the giants of the sector in the US: Penguin Random House and HarperCollins.

The motivation of the Internet Archive was to help “all those who are forced to study from home” and therefore did not have access to public libraries to continue consulting the material they needed …

… however, publishers (who own the distribution rights to many of these works) allege that lending books indiscriminately and without compensation was a “massive infringement of your copyright”:

“The Internet Archive scans books from start to finish, publishes complete digital archives on its website, and asks users to access them for free by registering their website.

The magnitude of the infringement described in the complaint appears to make the Internet Archive one of the world’s largest sites for book piracy. “

Fortunately for Library users, in most countries affected by the coronavirus in recent months the library service is already being re-established.

Track | Input Mag

Image | takomabibelot

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The Internet Archive ’emergency library’ will have to close next week due to pressure from the publishers