The case, initiated in June 2020, centers on the Internet Archive’s digitization of millions of print books and the subsequent distribution of bootleg ebooks for free via its website, all done without the consent of the publishers, authors, or the payment of any licensing fees. 

The District Court’s decision on March 24, 2023, granted summary judgment in favor of the publishers, holding the Internet Archive liable for copyright infringement. The court firmly rejected the Internet Archive’s argument that its “controlled digital lending” practices constitute fair use. It emphasized that each “enumerated fair use factor favors the Publishers,” and cautioned against copyright infringers claiming public benefit by increasing access to copyrighted works. 

Read AAP’s statement with links to their brief here. 

IPA along with a number of other international rightholder organisations submitted an Amicus Brief, with some excerpts provided below:  

  • “The Supreme Court has held that the U.S. should strive to meet its international treaty obligations. Allowing the Internet Archive to operate its Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”) system violates the three-step test contained within four critical copyright treaties that the U.S. is a signatory nation to and would give rise to a World Trade Organization complaint that the U.S. would likely lose.” 
  • “The Internet Archive’s unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works does not solely impact the U.S. market. By distributing internationally, the Internet Archive hurts international publishers in the U.S. as well as in their home markets, including many of the Amici’s international versions.”