The Internet Archive’s online book lending library will be severely limited to avoid copyright liability. The library and book publishers have agreed the terms of a judgment that leaves one crucial question open for the court. While restrictions are unavoidable, for now, the Internet Archive is eager to reverse the court’s liability ruling on appeal.
In 2020, publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley and Penguin Random House sued the Internet Archive (IA) for copyright infringement, equating its ‘Open Library’ to a pirate site.
IA’s library is a non-profit organization that scans physical books, which can then be lent out to patrons in an ebook format. Patrons can also borrow books that are scanned and digitized in-house, with technical restrictions that prevent copying.
Staying true to the centuries-old library concept, only one patron at a time can rent a digital copy of a physical book. These restrictions were temporarily loosened at the…