A federal judge has ruled against the Internet Archive in Hachette v. Internet Archive, a lawsuit brought against it by four book publishers, deciding that the website does not have the right to scan books and lend them out like a library.
Judge John G. Koeltl decided that the Internet Archive had done nothing more than create “derivative works,” and so would have needed authorization from the books’ copyright holders — the publishers — before lending them out through its National Emergency Library program.
The Internet Archive says it will appeal. “Today’s lower court decision in Hachette v. Internet Archive is a blow to all libraries and the communities we serve,” Chris Freeland, the director of Open Libraries at the Internet Archive, writes in a blog post. “This decision impacts libraries across the US who rely on controlled digital lending to connect their patrons with books online. It hurts authors by saying that unfair licensing models are the only way their books can be read online. And it holds back access to information in the digital age, harming all readers, everywhere.”
The two sides went to court on Monday, with HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House joining Hachette as plaintiffs.