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‘Science Fiction Writers of America’ Accuse Internet Archive of Piracy


An nameless reader writes:
The “Open Library” project of the nonprofit Internet Archive has been scanning books and providing “loans” of DRM-protected variations for e-readers (which expire after the mortgage length expires). This week the Legal Affairs Committe of the Science Fiction Writers of America issued a new “Infringement Alert” on the practice, complaining that “an unreadable copy of the book is saved on users’ devices…and can be made readable by stripping DRM protection.”

The objection, argues SFWA President Cat Rambo, is that “writers’ work is being scanned in and put up for access without notifying them… it is up to the individual writer whether or not their work should be made available in this way.” But the infringement alert takes the grievance even additional. “We suspect that this is the world’s largest ongoing project of unremunerated digital distribution of entire in-copyright books.”
The Digital Reader weblog issues out one nice irony. “The program initially launched in 2007. It has been operating for ten years, and the SFWA simplest simply now spotted.” They upload that SFWA’s tardiness “leaves critical legal issues unresolved.”

“Remember, Google won the Google Books case, and had its scanning activities legalized as fair use ex post facto… [I]n fact the Internet Archive has a stronger case than Google did; the latter had a commercial interest in its scans, while the Internet Archive is a non-profit out to serve the public good.”


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