Four major American publishers team up to destroy the “Internet Archive”

Four major American publishers team up to destroy the "Internet Archive"


Four major American publishers team up to destroy the “Internet Archive.”


Hearings in the case “Hachette v. Internet Archive” have begun in the Southern District of New York court. Hachette and three other major publishers, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House, decided to take down the “Internet Archive” organization in court. Formally, they require only the removal of many files and the payment of damages for lost profits, but for a non-profit organization, this means bankruptcy. The publishers’ claims are aimed at the “Controlled Digital Lending” service, which copies the principle of the classical library. The Internet Archive rents copies of books to users, but only as much as they have. New documents are not created; if the book is a single file, you must queue up and wait until it is returned. The publishers decided that this violated copyright since the copies were once made from paper books that they published, and no one asked them for permission to copy. The founder of the Internet Archive, Brewster Cale, explains that the service only stores copies of old but ordinary, not rare books. They are interesting only to a handful of people and have long lost their value, and publishers do not plan to reprint them. But paper books will sooner or later become unusable, and some of the service’s collections are nowhere to be found. Cale is only trying to preserve the literature of past years in a form accessible to posterity, and now his collection already has 1.3 million such books. The same applies to the official libraries, which once legally bought paper editions. And then, for a subscription fee, they give them out for temporary use to their customers, and the publishers do not make any claims to them. But as the paper base deteriorates, libraries are forced to spend money on digitizing books, which no one is in a hurry to compensate for. Otherwise, they will lose their archives – if the Internet Archive does the same thing, whose rights are violated here?

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