Today, member companies [Note only four members – ed] of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Internet Archive (“IA”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The suit asks the Court to enjoin IA’s mass scanning, public display, and distribution of entire literary works, which it offers to the public at large through global-facing businesses coined “Open Library” and “National Emergency Library,” accessible at both openlibrary.org and archive.org. IA has brazenly reproduced some 1.3 million bootleg scans of print books, including recent works, commercial fiction and non-fiction, thrillers, and children’s books.
The plaintiffs—Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House—publish many of the world’s preeminent authors, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, Newbery Medal, Man Booker Prize, Caldecott Medal and Nobel Prize.
Despite the self-serving library branding of its operations, IA’s conduct bears little resemblance to the trusted role that thousands of American libraries play within their communities and as participants in the lawful copyright marketplace. IA scans books from cover to cover, posts complete digital files to its website, and solicits users to access them for free by signing up for Internet Archive Accounts. The sheer scale of IA’s infringement described in the complaint—and its stated objective to enlarge its illegal trove with abandon—appear to make it one of the largest known book pirate sites in the world. IA publicly reports millions of dollars in revenue each year, including financial schemes that support its infringement design.
This is book publishers filing against a library. Copyright has gone nuts.
The lawsuit was filed in Federal court in New York City by Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, John Wiley & Sons, and HarperCollins Publishers.
The complaint notes that these four publishers are all members of the Association of American Publishers (AAP). AAP was one of 40 signatories, including the NWU, of a joint Appeal from the Victims of Controlled Digital Lending issued in 2019. Two of the four publishers bringing the lawsuit are US subsidiaries of European parent companies (Hachette Livre, which is part of the Lagardère Publishing group, and Bertelsmann) that are affiliated with the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), which also co-signed the Appeal.
The court complaint, however, was brought only by the four named publishers, and not as a class action. At least as originally filed, neither AAP, FEP, nor any authors or organizations of authors are parties to the lawsuit. The NWU had no advance knowledge whatsoever regarding this lawsuit.
Obviously though a large group of self serving copyright vampires is congratulating the serving monkeys for killing off culture in favor of money in their collective pockets.