Internet Archive forced to remove 500,000 books after legal defeat

Internet Archive

WEB DESK: The Internet Archive (IA) has been compelled to remove approximately 500,000 books following a legal victory by book publishers, International media reported on Saturday.

This decision has sparked outcry among IA users, who are urging publishers to cease the takedowns.

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The reduction in available titles follows a court ruling last year in favour of the publishers, who sued IA over copyright infringement. IA, known for providing free online access to books, described the removal as a “devastating loss” for readers who rely on its collection.

In response, IA is appealing the decision, arguing that its controlled digital lending should be considered fair use under copyright law. IA claims that its lending practices do not harm the e-book market and serve vital educational and research purposes.

Chris Freeland, IA’s director of library services, stated, “Publishers have forced us to remove over half a million books, and that’s why we are appealing. We just want to let our library patrons borrow and read the books we own, like any other library.”

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The appeal is set to begin with oral arguments on June 28 (Friday). IA supporters have also signed an open letter to publishers, emphasising the negative impact on education and access to information, particularly in underserved communities. They argue that publishers should find a way to protect authors’ rights while allowing libraries to lend books.

Publishers, however, maintain that IA’s practices infringe on their copyrights and that the takedowns were legally justified. The Association of American Publishers stated that IA transmitted literary works globally without proper licensing.

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