“[Controlled Digital Lending] is ‘fundamentally the same as traditional library lending,’ IA lawyers go on to argue. ‘Because every book in the Internet Archive’s print collection has already been bought and paid for, everyone agrees the Internet Archive could loan those books by handing or mailing them to a patron. The only difference is that the Internet Archive is loaning the books over the Internet. Either way, the books on loan are not available to other patrons until they are returned.’”
Copyright law is above my pay grade and gives me a headache thinking about it too much, but the ongoing lawsuit between the Internet Archive and some major corporate publishers is back in the news and causing a stir in various overlapping circles.
My two cents: the IA got the legal battle they’ve long wanted by using the pandemic to launch their ill-advised National Emergency Library, and their goal to provide “Universal Access to All Knowledge” [by any means necessary] is less about championing the traditional libraries they hide behind than it is furthering their own agenda.
The real pros and cons of Controlled Digital Lending are totally obscured by their brazen disingenuousness, alongside the equally disingenuous pushback from publishers and their lapdogs at the Authors Guild. Libraries and authors deserve better representation; instead, both are being used like pawns.