“For almost a decade, the Internet Archive, an online library best known for its Internet Wayback Machine, has let users “borrow” scanned digital copies of books held in its warehouse. Until recently, users could only check out as many copies as the organization had physical copies. But last week, The Internet Archive announced it was eliminating that restriction, allowing an unlimited number of users to check out a book simultaneously. The Internet Archive calls this the National Emergency Library.
Initial media coverage of the service was strongly positive. The New Yorker declared it a “gift to readers everywhere.” But as word of the new service spread, it triggered a backlash from authors and publishers….
“As a reminder, there is no author bailout, booksellers bailout, or publisher bailout,” author Alexander Chee tweeted on Friday. “The Internet Archive’s ’emergency’ copyrights grab endangers many already in terrible danger.”
“It is a tarted-up piracy site,” wrote author James Gleick….”