Emergency digital library sued over copyright violations

Agence France-Presse | Published: 23:26, Jun 02,2020 | Updated: 23:27, Jun 02,2020


Four major publishing houses Monday sued the Internet Archive alleging that its ‘national emergency library’ allowing locked-down readers free access to digital books was ‘brazenly’ violating copyright laws.

The lawsuit comes in response to the San Francisco-based digital library’s move in March to offer some 1.4 million digital books without restrictions, touting the move as a public service with most US libraries closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the four publishing houses -- Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House -- said the free digital library made the offer in violation of copyright law.

The Internet Archive responded with a statement that it was ‘disappointed’ by the legal action.

‘As a library, the Internet Archive acquires books and lends them, as libraries have always done,’ the statement said. -

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