MARCH 28, 2023 – Davis Wright Tremaine LLP's media litigation team, representing leading book publishers, has been granted summary judgment in a federal lawsuit that challenged mass-scale copyright infringement by the Internet Archive.
In a 47-page opinion issued just four days after oral argument, Judge John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York agreed with the publishers that "no case or legal principle" supports Internet Archive's practice of scanning and lending out entire books without license or payment.
Plaintiffs in the case were Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House. They were supported by amici that included the Copyright Alliance, the Authors Guild, the National Writers Union, and the National Press Photographers Association.
The judge rejected each of the defendant's arguments as to why its practices could be considered "fair use." Internet Archive's online library "in no way transforms the use of the Works in Suit," wrote the judge. "It merely creates derivative ebooks that, when lent to the public, compete with those authorized by the Publishers."
"We are extremely gratified by Judge Koeltl's swift, thorough, and unequivocal decision," said Elizabeth McNamara, who served as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, together with Linda Steinman. "Internet Archive's infringing activities, if allowed to continue, would threaten the very ecosystem that makes books possible."
McNamara and Steinman are both partners in the New York office of Davis Wright Tremaine. They were supported by New York associates John Browning, Jesse Feitel, and Carl Mazurek. In addition, Oppenheim + Zebrak acted as co-counsel to the plaintiffs.
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