Type of site
|Digital library index|
|data: public domain |
source code: AGPLv3
Open Library is an online project intended to create "one web page for every book ever published". Created by Aaron Swartz,Brewster Kahle, Alexis Rossi, Anand Chitipothu, and Rebecca Malamud, Open Library is a project of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization. It has been funded in part by grants from the California State Library and the Kahle/Austin Foundation. Open Library provides online digital copies in multiple formats, created from images of many public domain, out-of-print, and in-print books.
Its book information is collected from the Library of Congress, other libraries, and Amazon.com, as well as from user contributions through a wiki-like interface.If books are available in digital form, a button labeled "Read" appears next to its catalog listing. Digital copies of the contents of each scanned book are distributed as encrypted e-books (created from images of scanned pages), audiobooks and streaming audio (created from the page images using OCR and text-to-speech software), unencrypted images of full pages from OpenLibrary.org and Archive.org, and APIs for automated downloading of page images. Links to where books can be purchased or borrowed are also provided.
There are different entities in the database:
Open Library claims to have over 20 million records in its database.Copies of the contents of tens of thousands of modern books have been made available from 150 libraries and publishers for ebook controlled digital lending. Other books including in-print and in-copyright books have been scanned from copies in library collections, library discards, and donations, and are also available for lending in digital form. In total, the Open Library offers copies of over 1.4 million books for what it calls "digital lending", but critics have called distribution of digital copies a violation of copyright law.
Open Library began in 2006 with Aaron Swartz as the original engineer and leader of the Open Library's technical team.The project was led by George Oates from April 2009 to December 2011. Oates was responsible for a complete site redesign during her tenure. In 2015, the project was continued by Giovanni Damiola and then Brenton Cheng and Mek Karpeles in 2016.
The site was redesigned and relaunched in May 2010. Its codebase is on GitHub.The site uses Infobase, its own database framework based on PostgreSQL, and Infogami, its own Wiki engine written in Python. The source code to the site is published under the GNU Affero General Public License.
In the week of October 21, 2019, the Open Library website introduced a Book Sponsorship program,which according to Cory Doctorow, "lets you direct a cash donation to pay for the purchase and scanning of any books. In return, you are first in line to check that book out when it is available, and then anyone who holds an Open Library library card can check it out.". The feature was developed by Mek Karpeles, Tabish Shaikh, and other members of the community.
The website was relaunched adding ADA compliance and offering over 1 million modern and older books to the print disabled in May 2010using the DAISY Digital Talking Book. Under certain provisions of United States copyright law, libraries are sometimes able to reproduce copyrighted works in formats accessible to users with disabilities.
The Open Library has justified its ability to offer full contents of books in digital formats as part of the first-sale doctrine and fair use law.The Open Library owns a physical copy of each book that they have made available, and thus argue that the lending out of one digital scan of the book in a controlled manner falls within the first-sale doctrine, a practice known as Controlled Digital Lending and in use by multiple public and academic libraries.
Since its launch, the Open Library has been accused of mass copyright violation by numerous groups,including the American Authors Guild, the British Society of Authors, the Australian Society of Authors, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the US National Writers Union, and a coalition of 37 national and international organizations of "writers, translators, photographers, and graphic artists; unions, organizations, and federations representing the creators of works included in published books; book publishers; and reproduction rights and public lending rights organizations". The UK Society of Authors threatened legal action in 2019 unless the Open Library agreed to cease distribution of copyrighted works.
The Open Library further came under criticism from several authors and publishers groups when it created the National Emergency Library in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Under these exigent circumstances, the National Emergency Library removed the waitlists of all books in its Open Library collection and allowed any number of digital copies of a book to be downloaded as an encrypted file that would be unusable after two weeks, asserting that this unlimited borrowing was a reasonable exception under the national emergency to allow educational functions to continue since physical libraries and bookstores were forced to be shuttered.The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers, the National Writers Union, and others argued that this allowed unlimited copyright infringement and denied revenues from distribution of authorized digital copies of books to authors who also needed relief during the COVID-19 national emergency. Though the Open Library asserted that the copies of entire books in e-book format were still encrypted and the unlimited borrowing was for educational purposes, the National Writers Union asserted that images of each page of each book could still be accessed on the Web without encryption or other controls.
Four major publishers—Hachette, Penguin Random House, John Wiley & Sons, and HarperCollins, all members of the Association of American Publishers—filed a lawsuit in the Southern New York Federal District Court against the Internet Archive in June 2020, asserting the Open Library project violated numerous copyrights.In their suit, the publishers claimed "Without any license or any payment to authors or publishers, [the Internet Archive] scans print books, uploads these illegally scanned books to its servers, and distributes verbatim digital copies of the books in whole via public-facing websites. With just a few clicks, any Internet-connected user can download complete digital copies of in-copyright books from [the] defendant." The publishers were represented by the law firms Davis Wright Tremaine and Oppenheim + Zebrak. The Internet Archive ended the National Emergency Library on June 16, 2020, instead of the intended June 30 date, and requested the publishers to "call off their costly assault".
The Baen Free Library is a digital library of the science fiction and fantasy publishing house Baen Books where 61 e-books as of June 2016 can be downloaded free in a number of formats, without copy protection. It was founded in late 1999 by science fiction writer Eric Flint and publisher Jim Baen to determine whether the availability of books free of charge on the Internet encourages or discourages the sale of their paper books.
The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and millions of books. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating a free and open Internet. As of September 10, 2022, the Internet Archive holds over 35 million books and texts, 8.5 million movies, videos and TV shows, 894 thousand software programs, 14 million audio files, 4.4 million images, 2.4 million TV clips, 241 thousand concerts, and over 734 billion web pages in the Wayback Machine.
The Million Book Project was a book digitization project led by Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science and University Libraries from 2007–2008. Working with government and research partners in India and China, the project scanned books in many languages, using OCR to enable full text searching, and providing free-to-read access to the books on the web. As of 2007, they have completed the scanning of 1 million books and have made the entire catalog accessible online.
The National Library of New Zealand is New Zealand's legal deposit library charged with the obligation to "enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations". Under the Act, the library's duties include collection, preserving and protecting the collections of the National Library, significant history documents, and collaborating with other libraries in New Zealand and abroad.
The first-sale doctrine is an American legal concept that limits the rights of an intellectual property owner to control resale of products embodying its intellectual property. The doctrine enables the distribution chain of copyrighted products, library lending, giving, video rentals and secondary markets for copyrighted works. In trademark law, this same doctrine enables reselling of trademarked products after the trademark holder puts the products on the market. In the case of patented products, the doctrine allows resale of patented products without any control from the patent holder. The first sale doctrine does not apply to patented processes, which are instead governed by the patent exhaustion doctrine.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., commonly known as Wiley, is an American multinational publishing company founded in 1807 that focuses on academic publishing and instructional materials. The company produces books, journals, and encyclopedias, in print and electronically, as well as online products and services, training materials, and educational materials for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students.
Legal deposit is a legal requirement that a person or group submit copies of their publications to a repository, usually a library. The number of copies required varies from country to country. Typically, the national library is the primary repository of these copies. In some countries there is also a legal deposit requirement placed on the government, and it is required to send copies of documents to publicly accessible libraries.
An out-of-print (OOP) or out-of-commerce item or work is something that is no longer being published. The term applies to all types of printed matter, visual media, sound recordings, and video recordings. An out-of-print book is a book that is no longer being published. The term can apply to specific editions of more popular works, which may then go in and out of print repeatedly, or to the sole printed edition of a work, which is not picked up again by any future publishers for reprint.
The Authors Guild is America's oldest and largest professional organization for writers and provides advocacy on issues of free expression and copyright protection. Since its founding in 1912 as the Authors League of America, it has counted among its board members notable authors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including numerous winners of the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards. It has over 9,000 members, who receive free legal advice and guidance on contracts with publishers as well as insurance services and assistance with subsidiary licensing and royalties.
Google Books is a service from Google Inc. that searches the full text of books and magazines that Google has scanned, converted to text using optical character recognition (OCR), and stored in its digital database. Books are provided either by publishers and authors through the Google Books Partner Program, or by Google's library partners through the Library Project. Additionally, Google has partnered with a number of magazine publishers to digitize their archives.
National Writers Union (NWU), founded on 19 November 1981, is the trade union in the United States for freelance and contract writers: journalists, book and short fiction authors, business and technical writers, web content providers and poets. Organized into 17 local chapters nationwide, it had been Local 1981 of the United Automobile Workers, AFL–CIO since merging with them in 1992. On 11 May 2020, the NWU disaffiliated with the UAW.
The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) was formed in 1963 as the organisation to promote and protect the rights of Australia's authors and illustrators. The Fellowship of Australian Writers played a key role it its establishment. The organisation established Public Lending Right (PLR) in 1975 and Educational Lending Right (ELR) in 2000. The ASA was also instrumental in setting up Copyright Agency, the Australian Copyright Council and the International Authors Forum.
HathiTrust Digital Library is a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries including content digitized via Google Books and the Internet Archive digitization initiatives, as well as content digitized locally by libraries.
A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online database of digital objects that can include text, still images, audio, video, digital documents, or other digital media formats or a library accessible through the internet. Objects can consist of digitized content like print or photographs, as well as originally produced digital content like word processor files or social media posts. In addition to storing content, digital libraries provide means for organizing, searching, and retrieving the content contained in the collection. Digital libraries can vary immensely in size and scope, and can be maintained by individuals or organizations. The digital content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks. These information retrieval systems are able to exchange information with each other through interoperability and sustainability.
The Book Rights Registry is an entity to be founded as part of a settlement of the lawsuit between the Authors Guild and Google over the Google Books scanning project. The Registry will be initially funded by $34.5 million from Google but it will be an independent, not-for-profit organization that collects and disburses revenue from third party users of content to authors, publishers and other rightsholders. According to the Settlement Agreement, the Registry will own and maintain a rights information database for all books covered by the Agreement and their authors and publishers. It will also resolve disputes between rightsholders.
Authors Guild v. Google 721 F.3d 132 was a copyright case heard in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit between 2005 and 2015. The case concerned fair use in copyright law and the transformation of printed copyrighted books into an online searchable database through scanning and digitization. The case centered on the legality of the Google Book Search Library Partner project that had been launched in 2003.
An ebook, also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book publication made available in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on the flat-panel display of computers or other electronic devices. Although sometimes defined as "an electronic version of a printed book", some e-books exist without a printed equivalent. E-books can be read on dedicated e-reader devices, but also on any computer device that features a controllable viewing screen, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
United States copyright registrations, renewals, and other catalog entries since 1978 are published online at the United States Copyright Office website. Entries prior to 1978 are not published in the online catalog. Copyright registrations and renewals after 1890 were formerly published in semi-annual softcover catalogs called The Catalog of Copyright Entries (CCE) or Copyright Catalog, or were published in microfiche.
E-book lending or elending is a practice in which access to already-purchased downloads or online reads of e-books is made available on a time-limited basis to others. It works around the digital rights management built into online-store-published e-books by limiting access to a purchased e-book file to the borrower, resulting in loss of access to the file by the purchaser for the duration of the borrowing period.
Controlled digital lending (CDL) is a model by which libraries digitize materials in their collection and make them available for lending. It is based on interpretations of the United States copyright principles of fair use and copyright exhaustion.