TechDirt: “Earlier this week there was finally a hearing in the case brought by the big book publishers to kill off libraries. That, of course, is not how the publishers describe the lawsuit, but it’s absolutely what the lawsuit is about. We’ll get to some of the details in a moment, but we’ve joked in the past that if libraries were new today there’s no way that book publishers would let them exist. In some ways they’re a legacy holdover from before publishers had that much power. The attack on controlled digital lending (CDL) more or less proves this. As much as publishers like to claim they “love libraries,” their actions here speak quite clearly that they would destroy them if they could. Controlled digital lending is no different from how a library lends out books today. In both cases, it gets a physical copy of the book (either through purchase or donation), and then proceeds to lend out that copy. With a physical library it’s literally that physical copy. With CDL it’s a scan of that book, but the scan is tied to the physical copy, so that if a digital copy is loaned out, no one else can take out another copy. Every part of that has been deemed legal. Copyright law already has first sale rights, written directly into the law and allow for the lending or reselling of copyright-covered works without a license or permission. Similarly libraries are given explicit rights to make copies, so long as those collections are made available to the public. On top of that, courts have determined, multiple times, that book scanning itself is fair use for libraries. So, literally each separate component of what is happening with Controlled Digital Lending has already been deemed to be legal and exactly what we expect libraries to do…”
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