Press Release Copyright Reform

Public Knowledge Responds to Lawsuit Against Internet Archive: Policymakers, Publishers, and Libraries Should Make Print Books More Accessible During the Pandemic

June 1, 2020 , , ,

Today, a number of major publishers filed suit against the Internet Archive, arguing that making electronic copies of print books available to library patrons is unlawful.

The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Legal Director at Public Knowledge:

“It is disappointing to see publishing companies take this approach. Controlled Digital Lending is plainly fair use under copyright law. The National Emergency Library, which expands on CDL, is justified under the circumstances of the pandemic, when so many print books paid for by the public are inaccessible.

“At a time when so many people are relying on the internet and electronic resources for work, education, and research, a more collaborative approach between libraries, archives, and publishing companies would be welcome.

“We call on policymakers to support legislation clarifying the right of libraries to make print books available to patrons electronically, and to serve their constituencies during times of emergency.”

You may read our recent blog post, “To Fight Misinformation, Bring our Libraries Online,” or view our recent webinar, “CDL: Getting Books to Students During the Pandemic,” for more information on controlled digital lending.