“We’re very pleased to announce the release of two documents that we believe have the potential to help greatly expand digital access to print library collections by helping libraries do online what we have always done in print: lend books.
Both documents are aimed at addressing the legal and policy rationales for what we term “controlled digital lending” — a method by which libraries loan digitized print books to digital patrons in a “lend like print” fashion similar to how non-digital patrons check out books in-person. Through CDL, libraries use technical controls to ensure a consistent “owned-to-loaned” ratio, meaning the library circulates the exact number of copies of a specific title it owns, regardless of format, putting controls in place to prevent users from redistributing or copying the digitized version….”
” “Controlled Digital Lending” or “CDL” is a recently invented legal theory that allows libraries to justify the scanning (or obtaining of scans) of print books and e-lending those digital copies to users without obtaining authorization from the copyright owners. A position statement on CDL, along with an accompanying white paper, was issued this past October by legal scholars, the culmination of several academic meetings on the subject. The statement and paper argue that it is fair use for libraries to scan or obtain scans of physical books that they own and loan those books through e-lending technologies, provided they apply certain restrictions akin to physical library loans, such as lending only one copy (either the digital copy or the physical copy) at a time and only for a defined loan period.
A couple dozen organizations, including Internet Archive, as well as a number of academics and academic librarians, are listed as signing the position statement. Several major library systems, including the California State University libraries and the Boston and San Francisco public libraries, are signatories and apparently already rely on CDL to e-lend scanned copies of books….”
“The UC Berkeley Library took an important step forward today in improving widespread digital access to its vast collections. Along with the UC Davis and UCSF libraries and the California Digital Library, the Library became an early signatory to a newly released position statement supporting rights for libraries to digitize in-copyright works in their collections, then lend them according to the same lending terms as the original print copies. The position statement, developed by copyright scholars from multiple institutions, as well as policy counsel for the Internet Archive, is accompanied by a white paper that outlines legal rationale for how controlled digital lending can be implemented to enable electronic access to certain library collections….”
“The recent nomination and appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court offered a timely opportunity to demonstrate how controlled digital lending can be used by libraries to circulate digital copies of books that are out of print or not widely held. The basic premise of controlled digital lending is “own one, loan one”—rather than loaning a physical book in their collection, libraries can choose instead to loan a scanned version of that book to one user at a time, while the physical book remains on the shelf.
A key player during the confirmation hearing was Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh’s who wrote the book Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk, describing his raucous, alcohol-fueled high school years. Judge’s memoir was published in 1997 by Hazelden Publishing, the publishing arm of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which runs the recovery centers where Judge was treated for addiction. The book had a limited print run and subsequent shelf life—it was not widely held by libraries outside of those focusing on addiction and recovery. Interest skyrocketed once Judge’s book entered the public consciousness, but because the book was no longer being sold by the publisher and used copies were scarce, when available at all, its price on Amazon.com topped out just under $2,000.
Boston Public Library (BPL), a long-time scanning partner with Internet Archive, located a copy of Wasted in their research stacks. Those books are only available for use within the library, so the book was never going to circulate. Tom Blake, Manager of Content Discovery at BPL, sent the book down to be scanned by Internet Archive book scanners in their in-house digitization center. Internet Archive staff digitized the book using the same procedures and equipment that have been used to digitize more than 55,000 books from BPL’s collection since the partnership with Internet Archive began in 2007. Using existing workflows and post-production processes, the physical book was scanned and turned into a digital book complete with page images, OCR text, and mobile-friendly formats before being placed online at https://archive.org/details/wastedtalesofgen00judg….”
“This paper is about how libraries can legally lend digital copies of books. It explains the legal and policy rationales for the process— “controlled digital lending”— as well as a variety of risk factors and practical considerations that can guide libraries seeking to implement such lending. We write this paper in support of the Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending, a document endorsed by many libraries, librarians, and legal experts. Our goal is to help libraries and their lawyers become more comfortable with the concept by more fully explaining the legal rationale for controlled digital lending, as well as situations in which this rationale is the strongest….”
“In the same kind of solidarity they showed in calling for author contract reform from publishers, the United States’ Authors Guild and the United Kingdom’s Society of Authors are making simultaneous demands that the Internet Archive’s Open Library immediately stop lending scanned copies of physical books on their site.
Today (January 18), the Society of Authors in London has issued a media alert to its cease-and-desist open letter to the Internet Archive, and—as in previous instances in which the English-language world’s two largest author trade organizations have teamed up—the eloquence inherent in writers’ work is quickly apparent in how they’re putting across their message.
The Society of Authors refers in its open letter to the one issued by the Authors Guild, and in both cases, these professional bodies, each with some 10,000 members, are calling for their members and supporters to sign and submit the letters to the San Francisco-based Internet Archive.
At issue is what the Authors Guild in New York asserts is an “unauthorized copying, distribution, and display of books” that’s “shameful, unjust, and even inhumane.” …”
The two organizations oppose the theory that “it is fair use for libraries to scan or obtain scans of physical books that they own and loan those books through e-lending technologies, [even when] they apply certain restrictions akin to physical library loans, such as lending only one copy (either the digital copy or the physical copy) at a time and only for a defined loan period.”
“Australia is about to radically expand its copyright and the publishing industry has forged an unholy alliance with authors’ groups to rail against fair use being formalised in Australia, rallying under the banner of “Free is not fair.”
Rebecca Giblin (previously), one of Australia’s leading copyright scholars and the founder of a project to examine the way that authors’ interests diverge from their publishers’ interests.
She points out that giving Australian authors more copyright won’t do them any good if the highly concentrated publishing industry simply demands that all that copyright be transferred to corporate balance sheets as part of their standard contracts. It’s like giving your bullied kid extra lunch money: the bullies will simply mug them for the extra money you’ve handed over….”
“This Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries (“Statement”) offers a good faith interpretation of U.S. copyright law for American libraries considering how to perform traditional lending functions using digital technology while preserving an appropriate balance between the public benefit of such lending and the protected interests of private rights holders. This Statement only applies to in-copyright works, as public domain works may be distributed without restriction. This Statement is not intended to describe the upper limits of the fair use or other rights of libraries, bind the signatories to any legal position, or constitute legal advice….”
“Access to the Text of the Law Advances Practical Interests of Vital National Importance….Access to the Text of the Law Is a Fundamental Right and Important National Interest, Superior to Private Copyrights….The Standards Organizations Need Not Depend on Copyright Royalties, and Can Be Fully Compensated by Other Means….Multiple Doctrines Involved in This Case Can Account for a Fundamental Right of Access to the Text of the Law….”