Tag: Penguin Random House

Publishers Sue Internet Archive for ‘Mass Copywrite Infringement’ Amid Pandemic

With June’s advent, the 2020 catastrophe has now wreaked havoc upon the literary world.  When the Internet Archive announced that it was creating a National Emergency Library, temporarily suspending wait lists to borrow e-books amid the pandemic, a crowd of writers and publishers expressed outrage. Now, their complaint has made it to court; as of June 1st, they have officially sued the Archive for infringement.


national emergency library

image via archive.org


So what is the National Emergency Library?  This new installment from the Internet Archive works to temporarily suspend wait lists to borrow e-books during the flood of online learning––and frankly, the swell in free time––for internet readers.  Simply put, the National Emergency Library was a policy announced in March so that multiple people could read the same e-book at the same time without waiting for others to finish.  Not exactly how real libraries work, is it?  Now, the prosecution (publishers John Wiley & Sons, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, and Penguin Random House) have charged the Internet Archive for infringement.



“Its goal of creating digital copies of books and providing them to whomever wants to download them reflects a profound misunderstanding of the costs of creating books, a profound lack of respect for the many contributors involved in the publication process, and a profound disregard of the boundaries and balance of core copyright principles,” the publishers argued.

internet archive

image via mediapost.com

In its defense, the Internet Archive has described the National Emergency Library as a public library, temporarily lending free digital copies of millions of books obtained through donations, purchases, or collaboration with other libraries.  However, ‘infringement’ may be the final death on these sorts of circumventive online libraries which have been repeatedly called out by writers and publishers.  The indictment stems from an older issue with the Archive’s “Open Library,” which has been under scrutiny for carrying out a very large and growing program of scanning entire books and posting them on the public internet.

archive vs. APP

image via lithub.com

Many factors, past and present, will be at play in this trial; factors which have recently come to a boil after a longstanding, tense simmer.  Whether the Archive is fooling the public with a library front for piracy, or simply giving the public legal access to books during these historically trying times…only time will tell.

feature image via duncanville.com
Bookish Tweets image

Bookish Tweets To Start Off June – Whilst Still Indoors

How are you holding with the indoor business while all of this nice weather is on the other side in the outdoors? Well hopefully, we can put all of that – along with what May and the other months had brought in store for us – behind us as we enter into a hopeful new beginning: the starting phases of reopening businesses!

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Michelle Obama Readalong

Join Michelle Obama Every Monday for a Children’s Read-Along!

Today marks the start of ‘Mondays with Michelle,’ a new weekly read-along series for children hosted by none other than Michelle Obama. 

Every Monday for the next four weeks, Obama will be reading some of her favorite children’s books in collaboration with PBS Kids and Penguin Random House. Obama says that she hopes to help kids practice their reading, while giving parents a well-deserved and much-needed rest. 

The series schedule is as follows:

April 20, 12p.m. (ET): The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

April 27, 12p.m. (ET): There’s a Dragon in Your Book by Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott

May 4, 12p.m. (ET): Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler

May 11, 12p.m. (ET): The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

You can watch the readings live on the PBS Kids’ Facebook page, the PBS Kids’ YouTube channel, or the Penguin Random House Facebook page. Videos of the stream will be available on these platforms also.

PBS Kids has hosted numerous read-alongs, including those featuring Brad Meltzer, Marc Brown, Victoria Kann, and Angela Santomera, all of which are available on the above platforms. If you’re a parent looking to keep your kid busy while you work from home, ‘Mondays with Michelle’ is here for you!

featured image via pbs kids


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The Pandemic May Turn Publishing on Its Head

The world has been rocked by the coronavirus, and people are being forced to stay indoors to prevent the spread. Businesses have been forced to shut down, and Amazon has put priority items on top of their delivery lists. Books have taken a back seat on Amazon until the end of April, and The Strand and Barnes and Noble along with hundreds of other bookstores across the country have closed until further notice, but what does that mean for book publishers?

Image via SimonOwens

Right now the e-book and digital audiobook companies are doing well in keeping readers reading. However, some brick and mortar stores are trying to switch to online, due to only a handful of book distributors remaining open for now. Unfortunately, the online orders are barely scratching the surface of what bookstores do on a typical day. So, if the remaining distributors are shut down, then the bookstores that are running strictly on online orders are going to be in trouble. The Strand had to lay off 188 workers, though they hope they can rehire them once they reopen.


As for the publishing houses, it’s hard for them to promote and produce new books when author tours are being canceled and book printings are on hold. Layoffs could be coming next, and then what? The Big Five; Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, and Macmillian already backed out of BookExpo and Bookcon. The event has been pushed back to the end of July, but right now their main publishers are not attending. So many books that were in the works are now put on hold, and nobody really knows what will happen when this over.

One thing we can count on is authors having plenty of time to write, so by the time this pandemic comes to a close, there will not be enough literary agents for all the manuscripts that will be overflowing their desks and emails. So, if you’re a writer you should be writing as much as you can right now! Work on your craft and continue to buy books from distributors for as long as they’re open.

Keep reading. Keep writing. Stay Home.

Featured Image via The Writing Cooperative

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