Libraries have been bringing older books to digital learners: Four publishers sue to stop it

I wanted to share my thoughts in response to the lawsuit against the Internet Archive filed on June 1 by the publishers Hachette, Harpercollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House.

I founded the Internet Archive, a non-profit library, 24 years ago as we brought the world digital. As a library we collect and preserve books, music, video and webpages to make a great Internet library.

We have had the honor to partner with over 1,000 different libraries, such as the Library of Congress and the Boston Public Library, to accomplish this by scanning books and collecting webpages and more. In short, the Internet Archive does what libraries have always done: we buy, collect, preserve, and share our common culture.

But remember March of this year—we went home on a Friday and were told our schools were not reopening on Monday. We got cries for help from teachers and librarians who needed to teach without physical access to the books they had purchased.

Over 130 libraries endorsed lending books from our collections, and we used Controlled Digital Lending technology to do it in a controlled, respectful way.  We lent books that we own—at the Internet Archive and also the other endorsing libraries. These books were purchased and we knew they were not circulating physically. They were all locked up. In total, 650 million books were locked up just in public libraries alone.  Because of that, we felt we could, and should, and needed to make the digitized versions of those books available to students in a controlled way to help during a global emergency. As the emergency receded, we knew libraries could return to loaning physical books and the books would be withdrawn from digital circulation. It was a lending system that we could scale up immediately and then shut back down again by June 30th.

And then, on June 1st, we were sued by four publishers and they demanded we stop lending digitized books in general and then they also demanded we permanently destroy millions of digital books. Even though the temporary National Emergency Library was closed before June 30th, the planned end date, and we are back to traditional controlled digital lending, the publishers have not backed down.

Schools and libraries are now preparing for a “Digital Fall Semester” for students all over the world, and the publishers are still suing.

Please remember that what libraries do is Buy, Preserve, and Lend books.

Controlled Digital Lending is a respectful and balanced way to bring our print collections to digital learners. A physical book, once digital, is available to only one reader at a time. Going on for nine years and now practiced by hundreds of libraries, Controlled Digital Lending is a longstanding, widespread library practice.

What is at stake with this suit may sound insignificant—that it is just Controlled Digital Lending—but please remember– this is fundamental to what libraries do: buy, preserve, and lend.   

With this suit, the publishers are saying that in the digital world, we cannot buy books anymore, we can only license and on their terms; we can only preserve in ways for which they have granted explicit permission, and for only as long as they grant permission; and we cannot lend what we have paid for because we do not own it.  This is not a rule of law, this is the rule by license. This does not make sense. 

We say that libraries have the right to buy books, preserve them, and lend them even in the digital world. This is particularly important with the books that we own physically, because learners now need them digitally.

This lawsuit is already having a chilling impact on the Digital Fall Semester we’re about to embark on. The stakes are high for so many students who will be forced to learn at home via the Internet or not learn at all.  

Librarians, publishers, authors—all of us—should be working together during this pandemic to help teachers, parents and especially the students.

I call on the executives at Hachette, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House to come together with us to help solve the pressing challenges to access to knowledge during this pandemic. 

Please drop this needless lawsuit.  

–Brewster Kahle, July 22, 2020

63 thoughts on “Libraries have been bringing older books to digital learners: Four publishers sue to stop it

    1. David Whiteis

      If this bothers you a lot, like it does me, here is something you can do. For the next few months, when you go to buy a book on Amazon, stop and take a moment to notice what the publisher is. If it is Hachette, Harpercollins, Wiley, or Penguin Random House, just cancel what is in your shopping cart and treat yourself to a different book instead.

      1. Katrina Joyner


        As a small publisher, I can’t even imagine attacking the internet archive over this. I’m appalled to learn this is happening.

        There are a LOT of books out there by other publishers. (Not just mine which isn’t even that many.) So find them and show them who the real bosses are. Us!

        1. Dan Baker

          I agree completely. I purchase many digital books. I will not purchase from these publishers again. I believe what the Library is doing is wonderful. Bless you! 0

      2. Robert Hogan

        This Lawsuit also cancels out Libraries when you think about it. As you have so well stated Mr Kahle that because of the Pandemic sweeping across the world and the need for Students everywhere to be able to have the content of books onhand to continue studying, whether Digitally or in Hardback copy, they need to visit a Library. There is no difference between what you have so graciously done to help the world and the Physical visit of a Student to a Library to take out a certain amount of books for study. You gave a date that all books would be returned or stopped as does a Normal Library, the only difference is a Library charges you late fees. So if this Lawsuit stops you from lending out books then it affects all Libraries because they too are, by definition, in Violation of this Law. Drop the Lawsuit and stop trying to get money or stop an Organization trying to do some good in the World. Has lockdown affected you too?

    2. Victor Romero

      Thank you all for keeping this fight against companies that look restrictions on free knowledge. We need to stand together against them

  1. Alexander Farlie

    Well said.

    I personally think, that whatever the ‘ideological’ viewpoints , some publishers are never going to be happy until they have full ‘control’ of all their published works, and thus will not be satisfied even with a ‘negotiated’ resolution. That IA wants a properly negotiated solution to the issues raised by digital lending, that’s fair to all users (as opposed to just the publishers agenda), should be universally welcomed.

    Unofficially, it seems that there is a massive effort being undertaken to mirror ‘public domain’ materials from IA on Wikimedia Commons (æ/IA_books ) as a kinf od unofficial backup of that material . However, there is only so much a single volunteer effort can do, which is why I’ve expressed a view elsewhere that IA should donate entire portions of it’s efforts back to large existing libraries (Like the Library of Congress), in paralell with keeping IA itself active in preserving the public domain.

    (As an aside, I note that given the changed situation in Hong Kong, there are starting to be works withdrawn from libraries there, a powerful single interest attempting to control the narrative? Does IA have plans to make available works of Hong Kong origin, that would otherwise be suppressed, hopefully with the co-operation of the authors and creators concerned?)

  2. پارسی موزیک

    Digital books are a great idea
    Well in my opinion All publishers need to work together to digitize books So that we humans can create a healthy society for both the environment and ourselves

    1. Jack W. Stone

      Digitization is a great idea. Problem is, any great idea that comes around will be bought up by some predatory capitalist or another. Elsevier, a corporation whose profits rival those of Apple, has bought up an enormous number of scholarly journals, and will charge up to $50 dollars for an article whose author is long dead. Taylor and Francis, who own Routledge, are also dipping into that honey-pot–don’t think you can get anything from Routledge for free, despite all the Socialist cultural theory you find in their publications. But I could name others–Wiley, DeGruyter, and on and on … Digitization makes scholarly materials more portable, but not at all more accessible. I work for a university library, processing inter-library loan requests. In the old days, we could request an article from a book, or a physical copy of a book, and some library would fax us the article, or send us the book itself. Nowadays, you encounter a licensing agreement from some rich-fuck publisher who is profiting off of public, private, and university libraries that are hemorrhaging money from every direction. It’s absolutely the opposite of Robin Hood. De-fund the copyright police!

  3. Zachary

    I really hope you guys will be able to negotiate with them, otherwise if you’re shut down not only will we lose all of your digital stuff but also important media on human history that can’t be accessed anywhere else online…

  4. George

    I ONLY use the Internet Archive for interesting/obscure/arcane/old-ass books that pretty much no one cares about. They almost always are completely digitally UNAVAILABLE elsewhere – that is, there’s no kindle version, etc. So where are the lost sales? Where are the lost “rights”? What’s the reason for suing to stop the lending of THESE books?? Please bring back 14-day lending…please bring back the PDFs!!!! We can’t find these books digitally anywhere else!!!!

    1. Petrik

      Same here, most of the time I try to locate books these brainless publishers have decided to stop printing.

      They should be counter sued for no longer printing books that are still under copyright. As long as it’s under copyright it should be getting printed.

  5. Ed Sailland

    With respect, it’s a bit naive to expect publishers and authors to warm to the notion that their copyrighted work may be digitized at will and freely distributed without compensation, however noble the objective. And temporizing shifts like “one-hour loans” do little to address the copyright holders’ understandable concerns. (To say nothing of the frustrations experienced by any would-be borrower with a dodgy Internet connection, forced to consume a book in one-hour snatches, catch-as-catch-can.)

    Impasse? Not necessarily. Permit me to suggest a workable compromise. By prior agreement with publishers and authors, return to 14-day loans and allow borrowers to download a DRM-encrypted copy of any work in your collection for the duration of the lending period. Then pay copyright holders a small licence fee for each such borrowing. Use the “public lending right” (PLR) model already in place in many countries, with the PLR fee to be paid from donations or from borrower accounts.

    Consider the benefits attendant on this modest proposal. Borrowers get to borrow the books they want for long enough periods to be useful. Publishers (and authors) are paid for their efforts. And the IA is freed from the threat of lawsuit. What’s not to like?


    1. Kerri Bennett

      How is the Internet Archive’s model different from what occurs in traditional libraries? Traditional libraries also buy single copies and then distribute these copies to many people. The publishers and copyright holders would prefer that each of those persons bought the book themselves.

      I think that if this lawsuit is lost, this opens the door to challenging the library model, not only the digital book distribution model.

      I am born and raised in a “Third World” country. I grew up with libraries with empty shelves. The few books we had in some of our libraries had pages and photos cut out of reference books yet the librarian still had to put the books back into circulation because those were all we had. I’m glad this resource now exists so that other kids can have a better experience. It would be a shame if the foundations of knowledge were shaken by this avarice on the part of the publishers. The sad thing is that they aren’t even passing on the profits in a fair way to the authors.

    1. Shu-Wai Chow

      I highly respect Internet Archive and the work that y’all do. However, I believe this organization wandered onto thin ice. Controlled Digital Lending was one physical copy == one digital loan. That has precedent, is logical, and easily defendable.

      However, when the pandemic happened, those limits were removed. The justification was that Internet Archive’s endorsing libraries had 650 million books locked up. If the one physical, one digital loan principle was still adhered to. IA should have limited the digital loans to however many physical copies your endorsing libraries have. Instead, as I understand, it was unlimited loans.

      “**we** [emphasis mine] felt we could, and should, and needed to make the digitized versions of those books available to students in a controlled way to help during a global emergency.” IA’s interpretation directly went against the tacit agreement with authors and publishers which you have been operating under, case law, and maybe copyright law. I can’t imagine IA didn’t know this when the decisions were made. I don’t think anyone on the outside is surprised at these lawsuits.

      I hope you can successfully defend your arguments and wish the Internet Archive well, but if you lose, this will do far more damage to open access than any benefit gained from the National Emergency Library.

    2. Nate

      Uh, what the IA was doing wasn’t “one-for-one controlled digital lending”. Instead, it was uncontrolled distribution like what we would see with pirate site. That’s why the publishers sued.

  6. Pingback: My thoughts in response to the lawsuit against the Internet Archive | Hacker News

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  8. Paul Fernhout

    I agree that the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library made a lot of sense. Thank you for your bravery, creativity, and helpfulness on that and other topics.

    Ideally, in response to this lawsuit, perhaps the IA could expand its other programs? For example, perhaps IA could work with partners to set up book warehouses across the country to hold all the millions of used printed books being landfilled or pulped every year. IA could then make copies of all of those books available digitally on a one-for-one basis. This would be beyond what can be done with networks of public libraries and their unlent holdings under the current approach or what IA is limited to by having all the books go to one location. Many of these books have been scanned already by the IA or its partners or by Google or by individuals, so the issue is just having more physical copies to lend more simultaneous format-shifted digital copies. What if local libraries could join in this somehow to set up these warehouses? Maybe eventually only the cover or title page might even need to be kept as proof of ownership of a copy to save space?

    The deeper issues here though is that when information travels faster and changes faster, it makes little sense for copyright to be even longer. Copyright should be shorter these days if we have it at all. As a compromise for now, 🙂 how about, in response to this lawsuit, we get US copyright law changed so copyright returns back to the duration before the Pony Express, back when books took weeks or months to move across the country or the ocean? Copyright duration in 1790 was 14 years (with another 14 years renewal if the author was still alive). Such a change in copyright duration would move most of the Internet Archive’s content into the Public Domain.

    Now that books and movies can travel around the planet in seconds and gain readership in a matter of days, why do we need long copyrights to incentivize producers? It’s even questionable we have to incentivize creators anyway beyond intrinsic motivation anyway, given external incentives have been show to reduce creativity. While it is true that people need money to live on in our society, if creative people need support, more grants to the arts and/or a Universal Basic Income seem like better ideas than longer copyrights.

    Given the Supreme Court ruled (unfortunately) in Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186 (2003) about the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act that existing copyrights can be arbitrarily changed by being lengthened, why can’t copyrights be changed by being shortened too? Yes, I know the USA has agreed to copyright treaties like the Berne Convention — why not change them too? There was dissent by two Supreme Court justices to those extensions. And there have been many ideas developed since showing how harmful long copyrights are for most artists. Very few writers, singers, and painters make any substantial money doing creative things. Instead, most artists overall end up facing chilling effects from big publishers like for fan fiction or for music that sounds similar to popular songs, and all those creators who make no or little money creating things pay massively to access copyrighted works. That produces a net financial loss for most creative people for copyright when considering every creator — not just the very few who win the commercial publishing lottery.

    Also, as I suggested years ago (inspired by someone else’s sig on Slashdot), if copyright is “property” why aren’t copyrights taxed annually like real estate? Copyrights could be taxed as a percentage of a self-assessed buyout value that would put them in the public domain immediately. After all, copyright puts an enormous burden on everyone to track licenses, to research ownership of older works, to refrain from sharing, to refrain from creating due to from chilling effects, and now, sadly, to pay taxes to cover the cost of criminal lawsuits and police actions where copyright infringement used to be just a civil matter. So it only makes sense that copyright holder should pay for all those benefits they receive — the same way real estate owners pay for roads, sewers, police, libraries, and schools.

    Many books are subsidized by grants or publicly-paid salaries (including at non-profit universities). Almost two decades ago I wrote an “An Open Letter to All Grantmakers and Donors On Copyright And Patent Policy In a Post-Scarcity Society”. It explained that foundations, other grantmaking agencies handling public tax-exempt dollars (like government agencies), and other charitable donors need to consider the implications for their grantmaking or donation policies if they use a now obsolete charitable model of subsidizing proprietary publishing and proprietary research. In order to improve the effectiveness and collaborativeness of the non-profit sector overall, it is suggested these grantmaking organizations and donors move to requiring grantees to make any resulting copyrighted digital materials freely available on the internet, including free licenses granting the right for others to make and redistribute new derivative works without further permission. The alternative of allowing charitable dollars to result in proprietary copyrights is corrupting the non-profit sector as it results in a conflict of interest between a non-profit’s primary mission of helping humanity through freely sharing knowledge (made possible at little cost by the internet) and a desire to maximize short term revenues through charging licensing fees for access to copyrights. In essence, with the change of publishing and communication economics made possible by the wide spread use of the internet, tax-exempt non-profits have become, perhaps unwittingly, caught up in a new form of “self-dealing”, and it is up to donors and grantmakers (and eventually lawmakers) to prevent this by requiring free licensing of results as a condition of their grants and donations.

    Greed is never be satisfied, and there is a particular form of greed in our times that revolves around creating and expanding artificial scarcity. If these publishers want to play hardball and create more artificial scarcity by shutting down the IA in whole or in part, then why not respond by expanding format-shifting lending programs, exploring new ways of supporting creativity, and changing the law to make a fairer playing field for most everyone (except the greedy few)?

    In any case, thank you again for being a ray of hope in this world, Brewster.

    –Paul Fernhout
    “The biggest challenge of the 21st century is the irony of technologies of abundance in the hands of those still thinking in terms of scarcity.”

    1. Adam

      100% agree. I talked to my state Representative about the issues that works remain under copyright protection even after it is no longer enforced. I suggested that copyright protection should only apply if they’re enforced. If the copyright holder goes inactive, will shorten the copyright protection lifespan. This is my response of may old video games not being enforced (also known as “abandonware”) being distributed online before getting attacked by Nintendo.

      How will this work? Well, periodic checks is one way to know if it is still being enforced. Every year, we pay taxes to the IRS or the county. You’ll essentially no longer own your home if you fail to pay your taxes. I suggested that the copyright office should mail out a list of works to all copyright holders every year to check if they’re active. They have a grace period of 6 months to respond else their works will enter the public domain sooner on the sixth month.

      Another solution is fixing the takedown system. Why not lock up material in a way the copyright holders CANNOT permanently eradicate them? If a person does a crime, most likely they will be imprisoned for a certain amount of time rather than executed. Because copyright have a time limit of protection, it isn’t necessary to permanently erase them when you can have them access-restricted until the copyright(s) it is infringing on is no longer in-copyright (or is found fair-use and other legal uses of copyrighted material). I suggested the Library of Congress to make a digital prison house of content being taken down to be preserved here. I also suggested lawsuits to also preserve materials and not just a DMCA notice.

    2. Nemo

      Hi Paul. The Internet Archive already collects the used books which would otherwise be trashed, and scans them to put them online. (One copy is enough.) BetterWorldBooks is the partner bookseller which does the heavy lifting in this regard.

    3. Elena Tepavicharova

      In my view, changing the low will be the first step for dealing with this problem. It will open the door for any further steps set in the article, moreover the demands of shifting to digitalization in every sector of our society has just started. Excellent Internet Archive initiative!

  9. Luke

    First thing we should do is NOBODY who supports digital lending should ever buy another book from any of the offending publishers. If you need it, torrent it instead: don’t feed the beast. If you recall one of the main things that put a damper on that wave of filesharing lawsuits in the 2000’s was the tens of millions of people who never bought another CD or DVD after hearing about the lawsuits. Many (myself included) also stopped going to the movie theater. In fact, this is why I have not seen the recent Star War or Mad Max movies: I didn’t want to fund Disney and other Copythugs. Enough of this can stop the lawsuits by putting those filing the suits out of business. They have made themselves targets, so let’s hit them with everything we’ve got!

  10. haiki

    now we will continue to deal with the latest and increasingly sophisticated technology, but don’t forget about ideas in a science that technology cannot create. Because it can only arise from ideas and personal experiences also emotional strength in applying the discipline of science. Remember the book is a window to the world and technology only as a medium to facilitate not manipulate knowledge and ideas. thank you for your good writing and greetings

  11. Chona L.

    Mr. Kahle, I’m a new user to your site. I found out about from a member of our new book club that will start next month. For my family, we were saddened by the closure of our local library [MID COLUMBIA LIBRARIES] because of this pandemic. We are on a limited income & borrowing books saves us a lot of money. Personally, I’m not a big fan of ebooks at all. I’m old fashioned. I love the feel of physical books & the “new book smell” gets me excited. My almost 11 year old daughter prefers the physical books as well. But with our library still shut down [as of this writing], for 4 months now we have been using Libby to borrow books. We will be using your site to find more books to read. Thank you very much & we appreciate all you do to buy, preserve & lend books.

  12. Antani

    The National Emergency Library wasn’t fair, emergency or not. Basically it was unlimited lending, but who authorized it? Even with the best intentions, you can’t just unilaterally decide that you break the rules. That gave the publishers a pretext for attacking controlled digital lending in general.

  13. Ed English

    Ask your friends to boycott all publications sold by Hachette, Harpercollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House until this lawsuit is withdrawn, or, if it is not withdrawn, forever.

    These four publishers can, at most, control only those few books which they currently have in print. So this lawsuit relates only to currently published titles. Most books in the Internet Archive are not controlled by these four publishers, who only have an interest in authors who they believe are currently marketable, i.e. 21st Century authors.

    The Archive will endure, because there are millions of out-of-copyright works, and because even among modern authors there are many who are not controlled by these publishers.

    Obviously, we may need new laws to protect our property rights, if publishers are allowed to get away with selling a book, and then pretending by some legal fiction that we have not “really” bought it.

    A lawsuit will only have effect in the USA. There are many other countries to which the Archive can move, for example Canada or Great Britain, if the laws in America are hostile to freedom of speech or the promotion of education.

  14. Rose

    During this time especially, these publishers should be encouraging the lending of their books not creating lawsuits to ban them from being shared. The Internet Archive is one of the best libraries on the web and not a day goes by that I don’t stop to “browse” the collection.

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  16. Adam

    Mr. Kahle, once the lawsuit is (hopefully) dropped, can you and the IA urge the study of the problems with copyright law? The IA have experienced some of the issues, but in actuality there are tons of problems happening elsewhere:

    -Youtube is known for being a warzone of account termination and false copyright takedown. Sure, false DMCA notices are common on any platform on the internet, but seeing threats like this evolve, especially the Christoper L Brady turning it into an extortion weapon, is very serious.

    -DRM and section 1201. Most recently, hospitals have trouble repairing their medical devices. Many corporations making these devices refuse to freely distribute repair manual or forbid repairing the devices. They had to rely on black market sites that share these essential document to save lives. No joke, DRM restriction with section 1201 having an oversight on the limitations and exemption of copyright law have allowed to overextend restrictions.

  17. Adam

    What publishers sees is that books are to be treated like software licenses, but without the “EULA”, but expecting libraries not to lend out books. Everything is going digital, and the exemption to that is sadly, the legal exemption of copyright law, the first sale doctrine.

    I have a feeling that the first sale doctrine is becoming obsolete (as in, becomes rare to be used). I’m certain the IA have never sign an agreement forbidding to loan out books. Libraries HAVE TO evolve to the increasing digital world or else they too will also become obsolete. Imagine 20 years from now, that in order to read books, schools and/or students will have to pay a subscription or buy books and not be able to freely get a book someone have paid for.

  18. ایران نوا

    can you and the IA urge the study of the problems with copyright law? The IA have experienced some of the issues, but in actuality there are tons of problems happening elsewhere:

  19. Programme

    I say that the publishers should coordinate with the school system, with the schools purchasing whatever copies are necessary for the education standards. Be it physical or digital copies, I say that it’s up to the publishers to carry on this task for themselves. They want money? They work for it.

    I rather have the irony of schools reopening their own libraries, and printing out their own copies. Many schools, including universities, have their own libraries for both student and instructor use. The publishers will have to work with those book stores or printing out new editions of books in demand. They always do this for universities and of course, demand for instructors to follow suit. It costs plenty of money for fellow students and instructors to purchase new editions. Books do wear out so publishers should be not complaining for their lack of printing demand.

    It’s not really the fault, nor purpose, for the IA, to lend out books for longer than say, 14 (business) days? I mean, by those time limitations, libraries lending books would not be sufficient enough for a long reading module period. This is true for universities and any research facilities.

    You know what? These lawsuits could be a front to stop all digital copies once in for all, thus becoming a threat to the internet communications development. This case is worthy enough to bring in the Supreme Court, where it can be decided about the constitutionality of the details. Everything copyrighted/owned would have control free speech; it will continue until it becomes a constitutional infringement, where rights are designated by hierarchies. Might as well request for authorization to practice any unconstitutional rights!

    I know that there is a coronavirus pandemic going on, but that does not mean that students are stuck with the digital books options. If lended out books must be in physical form, so be it. How to do that safely is up to the publishers and schools. That responsibility solely relies on them.

  20. Suchisha Tiwari

    Totally in agreement. What they get if this suit is successful is not even going to go the authors and others but to the four themselves. Libraries are a NECESSITY especially during these times. Archive is wonderful initiative and we must not let these rich publishing offices get way with this nonsense.

  21. Luke

    What is said about Youtube here is one of two reasons I walked away from them in 2010 and blocked them outside of Tor in 2012. The other reason is all the trackers used both to sell ads and enforce the account terminations. I decided all of that violated terms of service for using MY computers

  22. Nemo

    It’s funny that the publishers complain they’re getting so poor because of the savage lending by libraries, but then their CEO tells to investors that «we’ve seen a 25% increase in volume of e-book rentals in the first half of the year».

    Also from the same earnings call: Pearson wants to «take back the share of those 14 million units per year that we currently lose to the secondary market» (in USA); investors are happy when libraries are sad, because «there are some complaints from libraries that you, Cengage McGraw-Hill are not making digital versions of your books available for them to loan out to students, which is obviously an encouraging sign that you’re focused on sort of clamping down on the secondary market»; the CEO is indeed optimistic because «if you think even 3 years ago, we still had something like 7 million print units going into the secondary market, it’s now dramatically lower than that. So over time, we are starving the secondary unit».

    So, given the sales skyrocket and the competition is already exterminated, I wonder how one can also complain that the Internet Archive is so devastating.

    Meanwhile as Matt Levine provocatively says that Larry Flink should tell pharma companies to give away vaccines for free so that all the other BlackRock stocks go up , it may be worth noting that a majority (?) of Wiley is owned by just a handful funds: Vanguard, Champlain, State Street, Blackrock, Clarkston and Dimensional Fund Advisors. Surely some of these would not want physical libraries to reopen before it’s safe just in order to unlock the 650 million paper books trapped on their shelves, because if the pandemic worsens then all their other stock holdings will fall.

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  24. vivian

    Well said I fully support this. As an Enlgish major at UC Berkeley I can assure everyone that there is so many students including myself that have to borrow books from the library because of financial situations or personal matter. For me having an online library lending any books is such a great benefit since it really gives me access to educational resources from anywhere. During this pandemic it is essential for online libraries to be accessible to all because our future in education in all levels depends on it.

  25. Pingback: Internet Archive Defends Library Digitize-and-Lend Model | Authors Alliance

  26. Jordan Modell

    The reason this is so important it that is more than about greed it is about access to knowledge. It is about one set of greedy rapacious lawyers trying to prevent societies around the world to able to access knowledge that can help lift people out of poverty – that can broaden our horizons and minds. – that can allow us access to cultures and view points without regard to nation state borders or whether you are on the right or left. I am not sure how these 1%er lawyers live with themselves but I guess money is there only religion. Mine is Jewish but I try to appreciate the good in all people. Kant said that history is doomed to repeat itself so this reminded me of the Mongol invasion of Baghdad in 1258. At the time the Islamic empire was arguably at its height giving us break through’s in science and inventing algebra. The came the Mongols who like the lawyers in this case were after only plunder and to quote from Wikipedia this was the result:

    “Priceless books from Baghdad’s thirty-six public libraries were torn apart, the looters using their leather covers as sandals.[36] Grand buildings that had been the work of generations were burned to the ground. The House of Wisdom (the Grand Library of Baghdad), containing countless precious historical documents and books on subjects ranging from medicine to astronomy, was destroyed. Claims have been made that the Tigris ran red from the blood of the scientists and philosophers killed.[37][better source needed] Tales of the destruction of books – tossed into the Tigris such that the water turned black from the ink – seem to originate from the 14th century.”

    DO NOT LET THE MONGOL LAWYERS LAY WASTE TO THE INTERNET ARCHIVE. Let your voices be heard the only way we can stop this is if people spread the word and put the only type of pressure they care about – economic pressure on the publishers to disavow this law suit.

  27. Maddy

    Eh, publishers are probably cranky because they can’t sell a thing during this pandemic, or maybe they do, but the time it takes to receive any packages right now doesn’t exactly make book buying very enticing. Especially when there are online sources much less interested in publishers’ interest or controllable lending.

    Personally I like my books second hand, or digital but if so I am not the kind to spend money on something which can be easily obtained free of charge. It would be nice if usage of a legal lending service such as this were encouraged instead the complete opposite with the obvious sole interest of revenue in mind. I would much rather utilize this website given the choice, and I do hope to have the choice. I like to think those publishers are clever enough to realise that limiting access to this website only serves to increase traffic and popularity of pirating practices, which I don’t quite find in their favour.

  28. Ramon olivero padilla

    Buenas noches soy de Colombia y me siento muy agradecido con Brewster Kahle, por la bibilioteca digital que pone a disposicion de personas como yo, que no contamos con recursos para comprar un libro. Es mu deseo que esta biblioteca siga existiendo ya que brinda ayuda, orientacion y sobre todo capacitacion a los que no tiene como pagar por estos recursos. Mi voto es a favor de ustedes y deseo me digan como puedo apoyarlos. desde Colombia un sincero abrazo.

  29. IsabellaAlijohn

    Drop the lawsuit please!
    Most of the time the books are not owned in the library
    However you can find them on internet archive .
    I mean great books that was in the 30’s, 40’s,
    50’s etc.
    Mr. Kahle keep up the good works
    All will be well!

  30. Click SEO

    With the growth in popularity of tablet computers and more advanced mobile devices,publishers are increasingly making digital versionsof booksthat have traditionally been available in paper format, available. The sales of these digital books, also known as e-books, increased by117% in 2011 generating just under $970 million, according to the American Association of Publishers (AAP Estimates, 2012). The retailing giant Amazon now sells more e-books than printed books. In addition to this,an increasing number of publishing companies are making school textbooks available in digital formats. In 2011, electronic textbook (e-textbook) sales in higher education totaled $267.3 million –a 44.3% growth over the prior year (Yu, 2012).With this surge in interest for digital formats of books, e-textbook sales are expected to reach 18.8% of the textbook market by 2014 (Where to get eTextbooks, 2010). The people who aremost likely to use electronic textbooksare primarily current students within the age group typicall referred toas Generation Y. The perception of Generation Y (Gen Y) is that they are individuals who “want it all” and “want it now” (Ng, Schweitzer, & Lyons, 2010, p. 282), and are constantly connected through technology. Even though Gen Y is comfortable with the use of technology, in fact they are very well known for their technological savviness, they have not grown up with using it in school (Shih & Allen, 2007). Perhaps as a result of this lack of technology usage for education, college students today have been hesitant to adopte-textbooks (Knutson & Fowler, 2009; Sadon, 2010; Yu, 2012), despite the fact that the e-textbookshavea number of advantages over traditional printed textbooks. Based upon Gen Y’s professed familiarity with technology, one may assume that this generation would embrace e-textbook technology but previousresearch has shown this not to be true(Knutson & Fowler, 2009; Sadon, 2010; Yu, 2012).

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