Libraries Are Not a Crime – JURIST – Commentary – Legal News & Commentary

“In response, the Internet Archive created the National Emergency Library, an online library of books in its collection that people could “borrow” for limited periods of time. All of the books included were more than 5 years old, and copyright owners could opt out on demand. The idea was to ensure that people had at least some access to books that were otherwise unavailable.

The evidence shows that people used the online library the same way they use a physical library. Most people used the books for a few minutes, long enough to confirm a fact or check a citation. A few people used the books for longer, presumably in order to read them.

What a success! In a time of need, a charitable organization made information available to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get it, at no cost to anyone. Sometimes, charitable organizations really can solve social problems efficiently and effectively.

But wait. The copyright cops went apoplectic. On their telling, the Internet Archive is a “piracy” organization, and the NEL is “cheating” authors by “defrauding” them of book sales. Essentially, they complained that the NEL was “anti-author” because it enabled people to borrow books electronically, rather than buying them. Every borrowed book was a lost sale, at least in their imagination. And they further imagined that the profits from those supposed lost sales would otherwise have gone to authors….”

Scholar-led Open Access Publishers Are Not “Author-Chutes” · punctum books

“Both Open Book Publishers (OBP) and punctum books recently shared publicly that their per-title cost for high-quality open access monographs hovers somewhere around the $6,000 mark. This number is markedly different from the findings of the the 2016 Ithaka report “The Costs of Publishing Monographs,” which found that open access monographs published by university presses cost between $30,000 and $50,000.

As both institutional libraries and funding bodies invested in a transition to a fully open access scholarly communications landscape are naturally seeking how best to spend their money in the public interest, it comes as no surprise that the disclosure of our numbers, and accompanying financial transparency, has elicited diverse responses from the scholarly publishing world….

Rather, we invite university publishers to transparently disclose their financial records, so that we can level the playing field and have a discussion on what is really important: how we can help the entire scholarly communications landscape to transition to a sustainably open and cost-efficient access model, with the freedom to read, write, edit, and publish, and where public knowledge is truly accessible to the public.”

Canadian Libraries Respond to ‘Globe and Mail’ Essay Attacking Public Libraries

“Contrary to Whyte’s assertions, public libraries are in fact good for bookstores, publishing, and authors. Public libraries purchase and promote a diversity of material from a wide range of sources, including books by local authors published by independent Canadian presses. And research shows library borrowers are also book buyers. Booknet Canada researched the intersection of library use and book buying and found that Canadians who both buy and borrow books from the library purchase more books on average per month than buyers who do not use the library at all. By exposing people to ideas and content they wouldn’t otherwise think to purchase, libraries help people read more. Libraries are not taking away market share from bookstores, we are making the market bigger for everyone.

Whyte also goes on to make the rather astonishing claim that, “the dirty secret of public libraries is that their stock-in-trade is neither education nor edification. It’s entertainment.” Furthermore, he suggests it’s entertainment for the middle and upper classes, who can surely afford to buy their own books.

 

This implies that “the benighted underclass,” as Whyte calls them, do not deserve or should not have access to recreational material. That kind of wisdom harkens back to the 19th century, when civic leaders established the precursors of public libraries for their workers in the hope that edifying lectures and educational books would reduce crime, and keep people out of bars and brothels—but, no novels! It also suggests that the middle class have ample disposable income and should not be using the library at all, despite the fact that they, and all taxpayers, are paying for it….”

How to make open science work | Science|Business

“As open science gains momentum, universities must maintain their academic independence by arming themselves against possible takeover of critical infrastructure, research information and data by private parties.

If universities simply make their data generally available to everyone without any conditions,  commercial entities could collect that data, enrich it and build services around the data, and then make universities pay to use those services.

We subscribe to the idea that collaboration and transparency advance science. We also believe that the results of publicly funded research should be generally available. That goes for research data too. But legal issues and sovereignty issues prevent universities from sharing their data unconditionally….”

Internet Archive Defends Library Digitize-and-Lend Model | Authors Alliance

“The Internet Archive has responded to a copyright lawsuit filed by a group of commercial publishers which takes aim at the Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”) model and the Internet Archive’s (now closed) National Emergency Library. The Internet Archive’s answer to the publishers’ complaint highlights the fair use arguments underpinning the digitize-and-lend model, which has been in operation since 2011 with the support and participation of hundreds of other libraries.

Under the CDL digitize-and-lend model, libraries make digital copies of scanned books from their collections available to patrons (the hard copy is not available for lending while the digital copy is checked out, and vice versa). A library can only circulate the same number of copies that it owned before digitization. Like physical books, the scanned copies are loaned to one person at a time and are subject to limited check-out periods. The Internet Archive launched National Emergency Library in March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak which left the physical collections in libraries inaccessible to patrons; books available through the National Emergency Library were not subject to the “owned-to-loaned” ratio. The National Emergency Library closed on June 16.

The Internet Archive’s answer to the publishers’ complaint explains that the digitize-and-lend model serves the public interest in preservation, access, and research—all classic fair use purposes. Every book in the collection has already been bought and paid for by the libraries that own them, and most of the volumes are out of print….”

Libraries lend books, and must continue to lend books: Internet Archive responds to publishers’ lawsuit – Internet Archive Blogs

“Yesterday, the Internet Archive filed our response to the lawsuit brought by four commercial publishers to end the practice of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), the digital equivalent of traditional library lending. CDL is a respectful and secure way to bring the breadth of our library collections to digital learners. Commercial ebooks, while useful, only cover a small fraction of the books in our libraries. As we launch into a fall semester that is largely remote, we must offer our students the best information to learn from—collections that were purchased over centuries and are now being digitized. What is at stake with this lawsuit? Every digital learner’s access to library books. That is why the Internet Archive is standing up to defend the rights of  hundreds of libraries that are using Controlled Digital Lending.

The publishers’ lawsuit aims to stop the longstanding and widespread library practice of Controlled Digital Lending, and stop the hundreds of libraries using this system from providing their patrons with digital books. Through CDL, libraries lend a digitized version of the physical books they have acquired as long as the physical copy doesn’t circulate and the digital files are protected from redistribution. This is how Internet Archive’s lending library works, and has for more than nine years. Publishers are seeking to shut this library down, claiming copyright law does not allow it. Our response is simple: Copyright law does not stand in the way of libraries’ rights to own books, to digitize their books, and to lend those books to patrons in a controlled way. ”

Publisher Decries Damn Libraries Entertaining The Masses Stuck At Home For Free | Techdirt

“For years and years we’ve pointed out that, if they were invented today, copyright maximalist authors and publishers would absolutely scream about libraries and probably sue them out of existence. Some insisted that we were exaggerating, but now we’ve seen nearly all of the big publishers sue the Internet Archive over its digital library that acts just like a regular library.

But, perhaps the most frustrating part in all of this, is that whenever these copyright maximalist authors and publishers are confronted about this, they twist themselves into knots to say “well, I actually love libraries, but…” before beginning a bunch of arguments that show they do not, in fact, like libraries. Sometimes, however rarely, a maximalist just comes out and admits the facts: they fucking hate libraries.

The latest example of this is Kenneth Whyte, a small publisher of Sutherland House Books in Canada, who seemed to think now was the time to take to the pages of The Globe & Mail to whine about libraries competing with book stores that sell books. …”

Publisher Decries Damn Libraries Entertaining The Masses Stuck At Home For Free | Techdirt

“For years and years we’ve pointed out that, if they were invented today, copyright maximalist authors and publishers would absolutely scream about libraries and probably sue them out of existence. Some insisted that we were exaggerating, but now we’ve seen nearly all of the big publishers sue the Internet Archive over its digital library that acts just like a regular library.

But, perhaps the most frustrating part in all of this, is that whenever these copyright maximalist authors and publishers are confronted about this, they twist themselves into knots to say “well, I actually love libraries, but…” before beginning a bunch of arguments that show they do not, in fact, like libraries. Sometimes, however rarely, a maximalist just comes out and admits the facts: they fucking hate libraries.

The latest example of this is Kenneth Whyte, a small publisher of Sutherland House Books in Canada, who seemed to think now was the time to take to the pages of The Globe & Mail to whine about libraries competing with book stores that sell books. …”

Det europeiske forskingsrådet (ERC) trekker støtte til Plan S

“The ERC, together with funders of research throughout Europe, has been behind the demand for open publication of research which is laid down in the so-called Plan S.

Now the collaboration is abruptly over.

In recent months, the ERC’s Scientific Council has “intensified the internal debate and reached a unanimous decision”, the press release states, and the result is that they will end their cooperation with Coalition S and work on the introduction of Plan S.

The Norwegian climate researcher Eystein Jansen, who is a professor at the University of Bergen, is a member of the Scientific Medical Council and has been involved in the unanimous decision. He tells Khrono that the decision has been made after thorough assessments….

Director of the Research Council, John-Arne Røttingen, is one of the leading figures in the international work on Plan S.

– The decision in the ERC comes as a big surprise, and the timing is strange, says Røttingen.

– When we established Plan S, we got the Scientific Council of the ERC on the team, and they played an important role in shaping the plan and the implementation plan.

He assures that the decision in the ERC will not affect the changes in financing terms that are planned to be introduced from 1.1. 2021. Since the EU Commission is allocating the money to the ERC’s budget, Røttingen believes that the ERC’s change of course will not put a stop to the plans for open publication as set out in Plan S.

– It is the EU Commission that set the framework for all project funding that is provided. The commission has wholeheartedly assured that they support Plan S and the implementation plan, says Røttingen….”

Internet Archive to Publishers: Drop ‘Needless’ Copyright Lawsuit and Work with Us

“During a 30-minute Zoom press conference on July 22, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle urged the four major publishers suing over the organization’s book scanning efforts to consider settling the dispute in the boardroom rather than the courtroom.

“Librarians, publishers, authors, all of us should be working together during this pandemic to help teachers, parents, and especially students,” Kahle implored. “I call on the executives of Hachette, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House to come together with us to help solve the challenging problems of access to knowledge during this pandemic, and to please drop this needless lawsuit.” 

Kahle’s remarks came as part of a panel, which featured a range of speakers explaining and defending the practice of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), the legal theory under which the Internet Archive has scanned and is making available for borrowing a library of some 1.4 million mostly 20th century books….”