ELI Joins Eight Library Organizations in Amicus Brief About CDL in Internet Archive Lawsuit

The EveryLibrary Institute (ELI) joined eight national library organizations in filing an amicus brief supporting Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) in the ongoing legal case involving the Internet Archive. This coalition of library advocates seeks to uphold the vital role of CDL in ensuring equitable access to knowledge and information.

CDL, a practice where libraries lend digitized versions of physical books they own, is at the heart of this legal discourse. Through its Open Libraries program, the Internet Archive has championed this innovative approach, facilitating access to millions of digitized books. The amicus brief filed by ELI and its allies argues that CDL is firmly rooted in copyright law and fair use principles. CDL serves as a crucial tool for libraries to fulfill their mission in the digital age.

Our Brief challenges the district court's interpretation that CDL could undercut the market for commercially licensed ebooks, asserting that CDL and commercial ebooks serve distinct purposes and audiences. Furthermore, we dispute the notion of the Internet Archive's activities being 'commercial,' emphasizing libraries' non-profit, public-serving nature. 

We want to thank Juliya Ziskina and Kyle Courtney from Library Futures for their leadership in writing the Brief and assembling the Amici. The coalition included SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition), Library Futures, eBook Study Group, the EveryLibrary Institute, Boston Library Consortium, the Board of Directors of PALCI - Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration and Innovation, ASERL (Association of Southeastern Research Libraries), ReadersFirst, and 200+ individual librarians, archivists, directors, deans, professors, and library staff. This collaboration of library organizations, including the EveryLibrary Institute, highlights our collective commitment to preserving public access to literary and educational resources. ELI, alongside its partners, stands firm in the belief that CDL is an essential practice for libraries, ensuring that the wealth of human knowledge and culture remains accessible to all, irrespective of socioeconomic barriers.

You can follow ongoing news and analysis of this important lawsuit at Publishers Weekly.