Today, member companies of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a motion for summary judgment in the copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive, first filed June 1, 2020 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Filings Show Illegal Mass Digitization, Public Display, and AI Distribution of Literary Works Are in Direct Violation of Copyright Law and in Direct Competition with Legally Permitted Marketplaces for e-Books library and consumption. The AI offers its unauthorized copies to the general public through a global company called “Open Library” and, previously, through a service called “National Emergency Library.” Defendant’s activities are part of a larger commercial enterprise that not only provides access to books, but also adds to its bottom line. Between 2011 and 2020, IA earned approximately $30 million from libraries to digitize books in their collections.
The publishers involved in this saga are Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Random House and Wiley – filed the lawsuit on their and their authors’ behalf after the Internet Archive refused to stop its infringement of tens of thousands of their books. The suit names 127 literary works which include an amazing cross section of fiction and non-fiction books from authors such as Toni Morrison, Malcolm Gladwell and Ann Patchett. The named works are just a sampling of more than 33,000 titles on the Internet Archive site.
Since the lawsuit was filed, IA has dramatically increased the pace of its infringement activities, adding several thousand scans from the publishers who filed the lawsuit against them, as well as titles owned by other publishers. Today, IA makes over 3 million copyrighted e-books available to the public.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and The New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.