O+Z Secures Copyright Victory for Publishing Industry in Internet Archive Lawsuit
Washington, D.C. (April 7, 2023) — Oppenheim + Zebrak, LLP (“O+Z”) is pleased to share that on March 24, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the firm’s publishing industry clients by granting summary judgement in a case of mass copyright infringement by the Internet Archive.
In ruling for publishers Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House, the court also rejected the summary judgement request from the Internet Archive.
The case concerns Internet Archive’s digitization of millions of print books without permission under its “Open Library” service, including for several months under the banner of what it termed a “National Emergency Library.” The Internet Archive distributed the resulting digital copies to users for free, without any compensation to the authors or publishers of the books. The case challenged Internet Archive’s industrial scale piracy and specious assertion that fair use or the first sale doctrine protect its conduct at issue.
The court determined “this case shows what conduct remains squarely beyond fair use.” Namely, “no case or legal principle” supports the notion that “lawfully acquiring a copyrighted print book entitles the recipient to make an unauthorized copy and distribute it in place of the print book,” the court wrote in its decision.
The court’s ruling can be found here. The Association of American Publishers issued a detailed statement that can be found here.
O+Z attorneys Scott Zebrak, Matt Oppenheim, and Danae Tinelli led the case for the firm. Davis Wright Tremaine served as co-counsel on the case.