No more free eBooks!!! Internet Archive shuts down free eBook program due to lawsuits
One of the favorite past times among netizens during this dreaded coronavirus pandemic is to read eBooks. To help them with finding free and good eBooks, the Internet Archive launched its National Emergency Library back in March. The objective of the National Emergency Library was to provide users world over with free eBooks to read during the coronavirus lockdown period. This hugely successful free ebook program made over 1.4 million books available to the public without the usual waitlist system of Internet Archive for reading books.
However, as is always the case, noble causes always fall prey to money mongers. The Internet Archive has been sued by not one but four major publishers for copyright infringement and making the eBooks available for free without paying them any royalty. This obviously meant that the Internet Archive will have to shut down the free eBook library.
Now, the Internet Archive has decided to end the free ebook program from tomorrow i.e. June 15. Remember, Internet Archive had announced that the National Emergency Library will make eBooks available to readers till 30th June earlier.
The Internet Archive has been sued by a consortium of four publishers. Hachette, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House are the culprits who have filed a suit in the New York federal court. Their lawsuit claims, “Despite the ‘Open Library’ moniker, IA’s actions grossly exceed legitimate library services, do violence to the Copyright Act, and constitute willful digital piracy on an industrial scale.”
This lawsuit is a result of the longstanding complaint publishers have had against Internet Archive, going so far as accusing the organization of “willful digital piracy on an industrial scale.” In fact, the publishers want to close down any or all websites that let users download eBooks. Several university libraries like UC Berkeley Library have been allowing users to download free eBooks for studies.