A federal judge heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by four major book publishers against Internet Archive for alleged copyright infringement on Monday. The lawsuit was first filed in 2020 and could be a landmark case when it comes to digital libraries and copyright.
According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl seemed skeptical about whether copyright law’s fair use doctrine allows Internet Archive to offer the scanned books without the publishers’ permission.
The lawsuit was filed by Hatchette Book Group, John Wiley & Sons Inc., Penguin Random House, and HarperCollins Publishers, all of whom say that digitizing books without requiring payment hurts writers and the publishers who lose out on payout. The lawsuit claims Internet Archive’s “actions grossly exceed legitimate library services, do violence to the Copyright Act, and constitute willful digital piracy on an industrial scale.”