Internet Archive’s Controlled Digital Lending Program Is Lawful Fair Use That Preserves Traditional Library Lending in the Digital World
July 8, 2022
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SAN FRANCISCO—The Internet Archive has asked a federal judge to rule in its favor and end a radical lawsuit, filed by four major publishing companies, that aims to criminalize library lending.
The Internet Archive, headquartered in San Francisco, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit library which preserves and provides access to cultural artifacts of all kinds in electronic form. The motion for summary judgment, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Durie Tangri LLP, explains that the Archive’s Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program is a lawful fair use that preserves traditional library lending in the digital world.
The brief explains how the Internet Archive is advancing the purposes of copyright law by furthering public access to knowledge and facilitating the creation of new creative and scholarly works. The Internet Archive’s digital lending hasn’t cost the publishers one penny in revenues; in fact, concrete evidence shows that the Archive’s digital lending does not and will not harm the market for books.
“Should we stop libraries from owning and lending books? No,” said Brewster Kahle, the Internet Archive’s founder and digital librarian. “We need libraries to be independent and strong, now more than ever, in a time of misinformation and challenges to democracy. That’s why we are defending the rights of libraries to serve our patrons where they are, online.”
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When do we put a stop to BIG X (Pharma, Auto, Government, Medicine, etc.), in this case Big Publishing, from trying to monopolize everything?