Publishers v. Internet Archive - The Last Shot Of Libraries? (remote talk)
09-30, 18:00–18:45 (Europe/Prague), Studio 2 - Slévárna

In 2020, four of the world’s largest publishers sued the nonprofit library, the Internet Archive, to try to stop its digital book lending program. Publishers want to license–not sell–ebooks. Is this lawsuit the last shot at libraries actually owning & lending digital books? Is th

In 2020, the Internet Archive was sued by four of the world's largest publishers, who claim that our book lending program violates their copyrights, even though we have never made any money from lending books. The Internet Archive is being sued for doing what libraries have always done – lending books. Our digital book lending service is based on the widespread library practice called Controlled Digital Lending (CDL). The publishers suing us demand that we destroy 1.4 million digital books and pay fines of close to $20 million.

What's at stake is the ability of all libraries to survive and even flourish in the digital era. Publishers are trying to end libraries' ownership of their own collections. Instead, they want to rent digital books to libraries, like Netflix rents movies. They want to control our cultural commons for their own commercial benefit. Digital ownership leads to a game where there can be many vendors, many buyers, many authors, many libraries, preservation, and innovation. It’s a game with many winners.

A license-only world is one with monopolies, excessive control on who can see what, and when.
We want a game with many winners. We need digital book ownership.

What future do you want?

A passionate advocate for public internet access and a successful entrepreneur, Brewster Kahle has spent his career intent on a singular focus: providing universal access to all knowledge. He is the Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, one of the largest libraries in the world. Soon after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied artificial intelligence, Kahle helped found Thinking Machines, a parallel supercomputer maker. In 1989, Kahle created the internet's first publishing system, Wide Area Information Server, later selling it to AOL. In 1996, he co-founded Alexa Internet, which helps catalog the web, and sold it to Amazon in 1999. The Internet Archive, which he founded in 1996, now preserves 99+ unique petabytes of data–the books, web pages, music, television, and software of our cultural heritage–and works with more than 950 libraries and university partners to create a digital library that is accessible to all.