For Educational And Entertainment Purposes
The Internet Archive have created the National Emergency Library which makes it much easier for people to borrow eBooks from their archive of scanned literature. In order to comply with certain laws they do usually function like a library, in that they have a limited number of licenses of a book and once that many people have checked out the book it will not be available until one is ‘returned’.
In these times they have removed that limit and you will be able to grab one of their 1.4 million books even if all the copies are already lent out. The titles are mostly from the 20th century and span fiction through text books so you can both give your kid something scholarly to read while you curl up with your own good book.
As you should expect with any sort of move like this, someone is complaining and likely about to threaten legal action. The Authors Guild has claimed the Open Library system is operating “in flagrant violation of copyright law“, which is absolutely true as they are lending out more copies than they have. However, for the duration of this pandemic even the legal copyright advisor for Harvard University agrees this is Fair Use and cautions against attempting legal action, not to mention the damage that would do to the reputation of an otherwise great association.
The Internet Archive on Tuesday announced the creation of the National Emergency Library to make it easier to borrow from its collection of ebooks during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.