As previously reported to the IPA community, publishers and authors are closely watching a major law suit in the United States, in which member companies of the Association of American Publishers sued the Internet Archive (IA) for intentional and systematic copyright infringement.
That suit, pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York since June 1, 2020, is now winding its way through the discovery phase of litigation. The suit outlines the IA’s mass scanning, public display, and distribution of entire literary works through global-facing businesses coined “Open Library” and “National Emergency Library,” which compromise the well-established markets of publishers for both print and digital works in both commercial and noncommercial channels. IA has brazenly reproduced and made available to the global public some 1.3 million bootleg scans of print books, including recent works, commercial fiction and non-fiction, thrillers, and children’s books. The sheer scale of IA’s infringement described in AAP’s complaint—and its stated objective to enlarge its illegal trove with abandon—appear to make it one of the largest known book pirate sites in the world. IA publicly reports millions of dollars in revenue each year, including financial schemes that support its infringement design.
For additional background, the press release and complaint are here, and a statement from the Authors Guild is here.