September 29, 2022
The following organizations are deeply troubled by Fight for the Future’s letter “In Solidarity with Libraries” that a number of authors have signed. While there are principles stated in the letter with which we agree, it is highly misleading both regarding the lawsuits that publishers have filed against the Internet Archive’s Open Library and in falsely equating the Open Library project with the purchasing and lending practices of public libraries generally.
The truth is that the lawsuit is completely unrelated to current practices of real libraries. The Internet Archive’s Open Library operates an unlicensed digital copying and distribution business that copies millions of literary works without permission and gives them away for free in direct violation of U.S. copyright law.
Here are five facts that IA and Fight for the Future do not want you to know:
As a founding member of the American Library Association’s Unite Against Book Bans Coalition, the Authors Guild and many of the other organizations below are working very closely with both publishers and libraries to combat the massive attacks on free speech currently taking place across the nation—the most urgent issue today for anyone who loves books and free expression.
Instead of churning up animosity amongst publishers, authors and libraries by issuing misinformation about the Open Library and the lawsuit and other publisher activities, we challenge both the Internet Archive and Fight for the Future to join with us to decry the book removals as well as the legislation in 15 states that censors ideas and bans books that children and young adults, particularly students of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+, so desperately need access to.
The Authors GuildAmerican Photographic ArtistsAmerican Society for Collective Rights LicensingAmerican Society of Media PhotographersSociety of Children’s Book Writers and IllustratorsGardenCommSociety of Authors (U.K.)International Authors ForumNational Press Photographers AssociationRomance Writers of AmericaGraphic Artists GuildSisters in CrimeCanadian Authors AssociationNovelists Inc.Western Writers of AmericaWriters’ Union of CanadaHorror Writers AssociationNational Writers UnionDramatists Guild of AmericaEuropean Federation of JournalistsInternational Federation of JournalistsEuropean Writers’ CouncilSociety of American Travel WritersTextbook & Academic Authors AssociationAssociation of American Literary Agents