Tuesday, April 21, 2020

My continuing tale of piracy woe

by Rick Blechta

Here is the email I sent on April 15th in response to their original email that said “lending access has been disabled for the URL(s) identified”:

Good morning,

I'm sorry, but I just checked your website and all of the books listed below still seem to be available for lending. I did not try to download since I do not want to sign up to your site.

I would like my books completely removed from the website, please.

I look forward to your response.

Rick Blechta

A short while later, I received this response:


Thank you for your email. The ebook items were removed from National Emergency Library (no waitlists) and the Internet Archive's general library lending program (one user can check out a held copy at a time). They now are available only to blind and print-disabled patrons. 

For such listings, blind and print-disabled patrons may access special electronic versions of the book that can be used with accessible software. The Treaty of Marrakesh outlines conditions under which book access may be expanded to the blind in signatory countries (the World Blind Union's take on that legislation and use rights for blind access is here). Users agree not to make copies or distribute materials (one option allows users to download scans and use them for a limited time with DRM to protect against copying). Our program to enable blind and print-disabled access has been in operation since 2010 (see our original press release). 

Again, thank you for your email. If you have continuing objections or questions, please let us know. 
The Internet Archive Team

Luckily I know some lawyers who put me on to others whose practices deal with this stuff. I was basically told that Internet Archive is definitely on the windy side of the law on this. However, if I wish to pursue this there is likely only one option: a lawsuit. There’s no way I have enough money to go through that. “Well, then you have to hope that one of the big publishers will take them on.”

So back I went to the Internet Archive site for further research. I looked up five very successful crime writers I know: Peter Robinson, Louise Penny, Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly and Linwood Barclay.
Not surprisingly, most of these authors’ novels are not on the website, just a scattered one here and there. Could this be because their publishers’ have dealt with this and IA complied because they know there are sufficient resources behind these requests that they risk being sued? I wonder…

There is one exception, however: Linwood Barclay. IA offers 12 of his novels. I’ve written to Linwood to ask a) if he knows about this, and b) if he has given his permission to offer the books, also what his thoughts might be.

Stay tuned. I am going to send IA one more request to remove my books completely. Hopefully I’ll also hear from Linwood in the meantime.

Things could get interesting!

1 comment:

Sybil Johnson said...

Do you think there's any difference between a book that's published in the U.S. or Canada? Just curious.