Why are so many books listed as “Borrow Unavailable” at the Internet Archive

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2024-06-14 15:00:04

Books that are shown as “Borrow Unavailable” mean they cannot be borrowed by our patrons, including books you may have previously read or consulted. 

In 2020, our library was sued by four of the world’s largest publishers—Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Wiley—for lending books via the library practice known as controlled digital lending. That lawsuit, Hachette v. Internet Archive, is currently on appeal after the lower court (the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York) heard the case and ruled in favor of the publishers. In this decision against our library, Judge Koeltl issued an injunction that limits what we can do with our digitized books—namely, we can no longer lend those books to our patrons. The injunction does not affect our accessibility program—the removed books are still available to patrons with print disabilities.

Additionally, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the trade organization behind the lawsuit, worked with some of its member publishers (listed below) that were not named in the lawsuit to demand that we remove their books from our library.

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