RT @nytimesbooks: Internet Archive is ending its program of offering free, unrestricted copies of e-books because of a lawsuit from publishers, which said lending out books without compensation for authors or publishing houses was “willful mass copyright infringement” https://t.co/qktuEqRea2
"8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"
As I read that, the point of copyright is to maximize progress, not to maximize profits. Complete lack of copyright obviously causes authors to not write, but I can't say that current copyright law is anything but profit maximization.
After a couple of hundred years of lawyers getting their mitts on the matter, it's almost like you need to simply start over now and again.
Many who may be newer to the non-profit may not realize the Internet Archive has been serving communities as a non-profit library, with the help of partners, for around 10 years through Controlled Digital Lending (https://controlleddigitallending.org).
For those (like @rhinocerosmonkey) wondering, Internet Archive (which also runs the Wayback Machine and Open Library, an open source book catalog) will be continuing to serve our community and the spirit of our public good mission best we're able. Thank you to our community, which includes many supporters and hundreds of open source contributors, for making OpenLibrary.org a safe place to discover books. If you're interested in helping build the world's open library catalog together, you may learn more here: https://openlibrary.org/volunteer. For those interested, one may also help diversify the Internet Archive's selection and make it a more welcoming, useful, and inclusive place for everyone, by sponsoring the purchase of books & representing voices which are currently missing https://openlibrary.org/sponsorship.
Not a surprise but unfortunate. Even Neil Gaiman, who was alright with people to reading his books online and share the videos was hard on this.
But as a librarian in an elementary school I directed a couple teachers to it for students doing book reports. Because there wasn't many alternatives: we didn't have the material they needed and the local library wasn't available for anyone who didn't already have an account.
This is all ridiculous. My wife writes Korean e-books. It turns out in that industry authors will routinely publish their entire book episodically on free websites in order to get reader feed back and offers from publishers. Once the novel is finished they will then publish them on pay platforms. The reason this system exists is because there is minimal overlap between audiences which seek free content and those who pay for content.
De-DRMing the PDF files gives files with a reduced quality anyway, because of the shitty filtering that works kinda ok for text but absolutely destroys images & photos.
The "proper" way would be to get the JPEGs directly from the browser's cache... it's doable, albeit even slower.
I had posted the whole shebang some time ago on Reddit... here:
The short version: the filter only kicks in when downloading the PDF, while the player embedded in the web page displays the original images.
Clear browser cache, open book, flip through all the pages, access the cache, select & export all the JPEGs, combine into a PDFs and you're set.
Because they can because copyright is broken.
There's a need for an obvious exception: if a work is not available for sale at a reasonable market price (other similarly aged and valued works), the protection should expire.
Attitude also appears to be creating some spurious moral justification for stealing, as though Harper Collins is some evil entity that must be punished.
I used to pirate albums when I was in university. One of my friends was a musician, and pointed out that it was extremely hypocritical to say that I loved a certain band yet stole from them. I tried to justify it somehow, but then just realised all I was doing was stealing. Haven't pirated anything since.
Capitalists ruin fucking everything. Remember how these centrist shitbags always talk about how public libraries are the best thing since sliced bread (which, they are), but then turn around do shit like this. We can't even have fucking books or information be open. Noooooo even fucking ideas need to be ruthlessly monetized.
This is very unfortunate. I agree they probably infringed on copyright, but I also think they were in the right. If we respected the law in this emergency when none of our social systems could cope with unprecedented crisis, the human costs would mount even higher.
The publishers will continue to do what's in their interest (immorally imo), but what they could have done instead was jump onboard and say yes these books will be offered for the duration of the crisis.
Of course, I feel that publishing should be at least partially publicly funded so that copyright wouldn't be a concern and we could read everything for free above production cost and authors would get paid. However, the private system should have at least tried to legitimize itself by providing necessary services for the public instead of continuing to deprive people of what they need out of concern for their own profits.
Unfortunately, I think this is the right decision. Books can and will be archived by publishers; The Internet Archive is most important as a repository of culture that won't be preserved any other way.
I wonder if something like this could assist the archive. As legal costs mounts, they could scatter their library and make it all free forever - not even those lending limits with Controlled Digital Lending will remain.
Might make the publishers come to a truce, since they must fund the lawsuit as there is no pot of gold in the archives to give a contingency law firm to take it on. Get China on board for the good it's billions of citizens!!