July 28, 2020 (New York, New York) — Last night, lawyers for the Internet Archive filed a brief in the US Southern District of New York responding to a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House in June of this year. The Internet Archive denies all charges of willful infringement.
"What is at stake with this lawsuit? Every digital learner's access to library books. That is why the Internet Archive is standing up to defend the rights of hundreds of libraries that are using Controlled Digital Lending," said Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of Internet Archive.
The publishers' suit seeks to end the nonprofit's nine year old program of digitizing and lending books they or library partners own and chill this practice globally. The practice, called controlled digital lending, is a widespread and long standing means of lending books endorsed by hundreds of libraries and major institutions in the United States and Canada as well as the Author's Alliance.
"The Internet Archive is part of a network of libraries around the world—each of which is using digital technologies to meet the many challenges of serving patrons with diverse needs and differing abilities and to ensure that the growing storehouse of human creativity is not lost because no one has the capacity to preserve it," reads the Internet Archive's response.
In their suit, ostensibly in response to actions Internet Archive took during the global emergency pandemic to suspend waitlists, publishers seek statutory damages and the destruction of the Open Library's digital collection of 1.4 million books.
"Copyright law does not stand in the way of libraries' right to lend, and patrons' right to borrow, the books that libraries own," reads the Internet Archive's response.