Monday, September 14, 2020

Internet Archive in legal battle with book publishers over too-lenient lending of e-books during pandemic


Maria Bustillos has a story about a lawsuit against the Internet Archive by some major book publishers for being overly generous with rental e-copies of books to students during the pandemic, link. 

That’s ironic in that publishers normally have strong relationships with public libraries (although I haven’t gotten far with that with my own books).

The article discusses the “rentier” behavior of both publishers and digital libraries. 

Internet archive rental periods are supposed to expire but have been relaxed during the pandemic.

The article also implies a concern with what makes digital books “sell”.  It has become popular, even sometimes expected, to see books on social justice address the reader and instruct them (even provide worksheets), as opposed to more abstract, literary style of writing which is now seen by many people as gratuitous and abusive, a curious change in values.

YouTubers who recommend books (like John Fish and Nate O’Brien) ought to look at this.

Picture: San Francisco, 2018

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