The lawsuit, filed in a New York court by publishers Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and Penguin Random House LLC, alleges IA has no legal rights to distribute the books. It seeks a declaration that the IA is committing copyright infringement, injunctions to stop the IA from sharing copyrighted work and statutory damages, which could be as much as $150,000 per infringement.
In a blog post, the IA called the lawsuit a “costly assault” and defended the project. “The complaint attacks the concept of any library owning and lending digital books, challenging the very idea of what a library is in the digital world,” the post explains. IA said the library isn’t meant for piracy, but is intended for “emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation during the closures.”
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