Battle for Libraries, March 20, 2023 | Fight for the Future

A major lawsuit against the nonprofit Internet Archive threatens the future of all libraries. Big publishers are suing to cut off libraries’ ownership and control of digital books, opening new paths for censorship. Oral arguments are on March 20.

Sign on to show your support for the Internet Archive, libraries’ digital rights, and an open internet with uncensored access to knowledge.


Punctum Books Helps Build Streamlined System for Archiving Open Access Monographs | Internet Archive Blogs

by Caralee Adams

Since its founding in 2011, punctum books has been an independent, scholar- and queerled open access (OA) press committed to reshaping the way knowledge production is shared in academia and beyond. 

Now, it is also a key player in the development of technology that’s making it easier for publishers to archive open access monographs. 

The idea behind the open access movement is that scholarly research is a public good that should be made available to everyone in order to remove some of the technological and financial barriers to research and to accelerate education and research across the planet. Open access monographs are long-form scholarly publications released in the public domain under a Creative Commons or comparable license, which allows readers to freely access them without paywall. Authors of open access publications retain the copyright to their work.

“We strongly believe that publicly funded knowledge should be publicly available,” said Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, co-director of the non-profit publisher, along with Eileen A. Fradenburg Joy. “This is an ideological commitment — and, for us, this has been a guiding light in all our publishing work.” 

Recently, punctum published its entire catalogue of close to 400 books to the Internet Archive’s online collection. It includes books about queer studies, film and media studies, Anthropocene studies, recuperative work and titles dealing with the Medieval period.




Automated archiving: a case study | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

by Ross Higman

In a previous post, I summarised initial investigations by COPIM’s archiving and preservation team into the possibilities for automated archiving. This followed on from earlier experiments with manual workflows, which highlighted the prohibitive time investment that would be necessary for small and scholar-led publishers to manage archiving in this way. Due to the rich and well-structured nature of metadata within Thoth, and the options available for integrating the Thoth software with archiving platforms, we concluded that a basic level of automated ingest would be both worthwhile and eminently achievable. Three months later, we obtained proof of concept with a bulk upload of over 600 Thoth works to the Internet Archive.

This blog post will explore the steps taken to accomplish this, providing pointers for anyone looking into implementing a similar system themselves, as well as giving some background for publishers interested in joining the Thoth programme to take advantage of this feature. All code used in the process is available on GitHub under an open-source licence, as is standard for the COPIM project. The post will also outline our plans for building on this initial work as we start to develop the Thoth Archiving Network.




Book publishers, Internet Archive spar over fate of digital-book lending lawsuit | Reuters

By Blake Brittain

(Reuters) – The Internet Archive and a coalition of major book publishers submitted dueling arguments Friday to persuade a Manhattan federal court that they deserve an immediate win in their potential landmark copyright dispute over digital lending.

The parties squared off in opposing court papers over the legality of the Archive’s “controlled digital lending” of digitally scanned print books, which the Archive equates to traditional library lending but the publishers call a front for mass infringement.



Publishers are suing the Internet Archive over digital book lending – The Washington Post

“At the start of the pandemic, teachers and librarians pleaded with a prominent nonprofit to make it easier for kids at home to check out books from its digital library. The organization, called the Internet Archive, agreed. While it traditionally loaned out its more than a million digital books one at a time to the public and through partnerships with libraries, it dropped that limit in what it described as a “National Emergency Library.” Roughly two months later, major book publishers including HarperCollins sued the Internet Archive for copyright infringement — saying its digital library initiative “grossly exceed” what libraries are allowed to do. A few months later, it reinstated lending limits, court documents show. The fight, which the publishers and the Internet Archive asked a federal court to end earlier this month, has triggered a larger ideological debate about the application of copyright law when it comes to digital copies of books, pitting publishers and authors against librarians. At stake is the future of how libraries are allowed to buy and lend out digital books to the public, which advocates say is core to a functioning democracy as technology takes over….”