The Internet Archive has lost a lawsuit against publishers over copyright infringement of e-books. The case centered around the Archive’s “National Emergency Library” program, which allowed unlimited borrowing of e-books during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Publishers sued the Archive, arguing that the program was a blatant violation of copyright law. The Archive argued that the program was legal under the doctrine of “fair use,” which allows limited use of copyrighted material for purposes such as education and research.
However, a judge ruled that the program went beyond fair use and constituted copyright infringement. The judge ordered the Archive to stop the program and pay damages to the publishers.
The case has raised questions about the balance between copyright protection and public access to information, particularly during times of crisis. Some have criticized the publishers for putting profits over access to knowledge, while others argue that copyright protection is necessary to incentivize creators and support the publishing industry.
The Internet Archive plans to appeal the decision, and the case is likely to have broader implications for the future of e-books and digital libraries.