The Internet Archive has lost its first fight to scan and lend e-books like a library

A federal judge has ruled against the Internet Archive in Hachette v. Internet Archive, a lawsuit brought against it by four book publishers, deciding that the website does not have the right to scan books and lend them out like a library.

Judge John G. Koeltl decided that the Internet Archive had done nothing more than create “derivative works,” and so would have needed authorization from the books’ copyright holders — the publishers — before lending them out through its National Emergency Library program.

As much as we all want the Internet Archive to be right – and morally, they are – copyright law, as outdated, dumb, and counterproductive as it is, was pretty clear in this case. Sadly.


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