An anonymous reader shares a report: As the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay inside, few companies have proven themselves as essential as Amazon. From groceries to cleaning supplies, shipments from Amazon have become lifelines for many who are steering clear of supermarkets and other physical retail stores. Company executives have likened the surge in demand to the annual holiday shopping crush. But e-commerce isn't the only sector where Amazon is booming. Analysts say its cloud business, Amazon Web Services, faces higher demand as people turn to some of its biggest clients -- from Zoom to Netflix -- for work and play. Amazon sells access to audiobooks and original television programs that are helping to entertain reluctant shut-ins. And with more people staying home, that's more time they have to engage with Amazon's AI-powered smart speakers.
The breadth of Amazon's sprawling business interests, and its increasingly central place in America's fragile supply chain, underscores the company's hold on consumers -- and its potential to solidify its dominance in the coming months. The longer this crisis goes on, the more formidable Amazon will become, according to James Bailey, a management professor at George Washington University's business school. "Every crisis creates a void," said Bailey. "And whatever force fills that void, inherits power." Amazon isn't the only company that could benefit. The crisis appears to be lifting the entire e-commerce industry, according to Bank of America research, which showed the sector grew 16% in March compared to a year ago. Those consumer habits could persist even after the crisis passes, marking a potential tidal wave of change benefiting Amazon's bottom line for years to come. But thanks to its existing advantages in scale and efficiency, Amazon stands to emerge from the pandemic stronger than many of its competitors, experts say. In light of the pandemic, Amazon could pull in as much as an additional $4 billion in revenue this year, though added costs of managing the pandemic may cut into Amazon's profits, said Bank of America in an investor note last week.
Tired of boring fasteners on your cardboard space station? Optimized for grip & looking cool, the ergonomic knurled edges of these makedo & technic pin compatible screws will feel like velvet butter on your fingers and increase grip by at least 1000%.
Print at 25% & 0.12 layer height for maximum strength.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
Foxconn's Wisconsin plant, the controversial recipient of billions of dollars in tax subsidies and the focus of several investigations, will produce ventilators with medical device firm Medtronic. From a report: The partnership was announced by Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak in an interview with CNBC, who said that Foxconn will be manufacturing ventilators based on its PB-560 design in the next four to six weeks. Foxconn's Wisconsin plant was first announced way back in 2017 as a $10 billion LCD factory. It was labeled the "eighth wonder of the world" by President Trump, but Foxconn's plans for the site appear to have changed repeatedly over the years. At various points, Foxconn has said that it would build a smaller LCD factory, no factory at all, or that it would produce other items like a robot coffee kiosk. Now, it appears the factory will, in part at least, produce ventilators, after its planned opening next month.
The finalists for the 2020 Hugo Awards, the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult book, and the 1945 Retrospective Hugos have been announced! You can read the full list below.
This year’s 78th annual WorldCon was scheduled to take place in New Zealand but due to the ongoing safety concerns and COVID-19 pandemic organizers decided to take the entire convention virtual. For complete details on the convention’s programming and participation, check out the official announcement on the CoNZealand website.
Nominations for the 2020 and 1945 Hugo Awards were submitted by the members of CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon, and Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon. 1,584 people submitted 27,033 nominations for the 2020 Hugo Awards, and 120 people submitted 1,677 nominations for the 1945 Retrospective Hugo Awards.
Only CoNZealand members will be able to vote on the final ballot and choose the winners. You can still purchase a Supporting Membership on the CoNZealand website to be eligible to vote. Information on how to submit a voting ballot is available here.
2020 Hugo Award Finalists
The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing)
The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK)
A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK)
Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)
“Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador)
The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga Press/Gallery)
The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
In an Absent Dream, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books)
To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton)
“The Archronology of Love”, by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, April 2019)
“Away With the Wolves”, by Sarah Gailey (Uncanny Magazine: Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Special Issue, September/October 2019)
“The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye”, by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny Magazine, July-August 2019)
Emergency Skin, by N.K. Jemisin (Forward Collection (Amazon))
“For He Can Creep”, by Siobhan Carroll (Tor.com, 10 July 2019)
“Omphalos”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador))
Best Short Story
“And Now His Lordship Is Laughing”, by Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons, 9 September 2019)
“As the Last I May Know”, by S.L. Huang (Tor.com, 23 October 2019)
“Blood Is Another Word for Hunger”, by Rivers Solomon (Tor.com, 24 July 2019)
“A Catalog of Storms”, by Fran Wilde (Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2019)
“Do Not Look Back, My Lion”, by Alix E. Harrow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2019)
“Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island”, by Nibedita Sen (Nightmare Magazine, May 2019)
The Expanse, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)
Luna, by Ian McDonald (Tor; Gollancz)
Planetfall series, by Emma Newman (Ace; Gollancz)
Winternight Trilogy, by Katherine Arden (Del Rey; Del Rey UK)
The Wormwood Trilogy, by Tade Thompson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Best Related Work
Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood, by J. Michael Straczynski (Harper Voyager US)
Joanna Russ, by Gwyneth Jones (University of Illinois Press (Modern Masters of Science Fiction))
The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, by Mallory O’Meara (Hanover Square)
The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein, by Farah Mendlesohn (Unbound)
“2019 John W. Campbell Award Acceptance Speech”, by Jeannette Ng
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, produced and directed by Arwen Curry
Best Graphic Story or Comic
Die, Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker, by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)
LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, colours by James Devlin (Berger Books; Dark Horse)
Monstress, Volume 4: The Chosen, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image)
Mooncakes, by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker, letters by Joamette Gil (Oni Press; Lion Forge)
Paper Girls, Volume 6, written by Brian K. Vaughan, drawn by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image)
The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 9: Okay, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Avengers: Endgame, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Studios)
Captain Marvel, screenplay by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios/Animal Logic (Australia))
Good Omens, written by Neil Gaiman, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios/Narrativia/The Blank Corporation)
Russian Doll (Season One), created by Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler, directed by Leslye Headland, Jamie Babbit and Natasha Lyonne (3 Arts Entertainment/Jax Media/Netflix/Paper Kite Productions/Universal Television)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, screenplay by Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams, directed by J.J. Abrams (Walt Disney Pictures/Lucasfilm/Bad Robot)
Us, written and directed by Jordan Peele (Monkeypaw Productions/Universal Pictures)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
The Good Place: “The Answer”, written by Daniel Schofield, directed by Valeria Migliassi Collins (Fremulon/3 Arts Entertainment/Universal Television)
The Expanse: “Cibola Burn”, written by Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by Breck Eisner (Amazon Prime Video)
Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar”, written by Jeff Jensen and Damon Lindelof, directed by Nicole Kassell (HBO)
The Mandalorian: “Redemption”, written by Jon Favreau, directed by Taika Waititi (Disney+)
Doctor Who: “Resolution”, written by Chris Chibnall, directed by Wayne Yip (BBC)
Watchmen: “This Extraordinary Being”, written by Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, directed by Stephen Williams (HBO)
Best Editor, Short Form
Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
Best Editor, Long Form
Sheila E. Gilbert
Diana M. Pho
Best Professional Artist
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor Scott H. Andrews
Escape Pod, editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya, assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney, audio producers Adam Pracht and Summer Brooks, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart
Fireside Magazine, editor Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson, copyeditor Chelle Parker, social coordinator Meg Frank, publisher & art director Pablo Defendini, founding editor Brian White
FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, executive editor Troy L. Wiggins, editors Eboni Dunbar, Brent Lambert, L.D. Lewis, Danny Lore, Brandon O’Brien and Kaleb Russell
Strange Horizons, Vanessa Rose Phin, Catherine Krahe, AJ Odasso, Dan Hartland, Joyce Chng, Dante Luiz and the Strange Horizons staff
Uncanny Magazine, editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, nonfiction/managing editor Michi Trota, managing editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky
The Book Smugglers, editors Ana Grilo and Thea James
Galactic Journey, founder Gideon Marcus, editor Janice Marcus, senior writers Rosemary Benton, Lorelei Marcus and Victoria Silverwolf
Journey Planet, editors James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Alissa McKersie, Ann Gry, Chuck Serface, John Coxon and Steven H Silver
nerds of a feather, flock together, editors Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, Vance Kotrla, and The G
Quick Sip Reviews, editor Charles Payseur
The Rec Center, editors Elizabeth Minkel and Gavia Baker-Whitelaw
Be The Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
Claire Rousseau’s YouTube channel, produced & presented by Claire Rousseau
The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts, producer Andrew Finch
Our Opinions Are Correct, presented by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
The Skiffy and Fanty Show, presented by Jen Zink and Shaun Duke
Best Fan Writer
James Davis Nicoll
Best Fan Artist
Grace P. Fong
Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book
Catfishing on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
Deeplight, by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)
Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee (Disney/Hyperion)
Minor Mage, by T. Kingfisher (Argyll)
Riverland, by Fran Wilde (Amulet)
The Wicked King, by Holly Black (Little, Brown; Hot Key)
Astounding Award for the Best New Science Fiction Writer, sponsored by Dell Magazines
Sam Hawke (2nd year of eligibility)
R.F. Kuang (2nd year of eligibility)
Jenn Lyons (1st year of eligibility)
Nibedita Sen (2nd year of eligibility)
Tasha Suri (2nd year of eligibility)
Emily Tesh (1st year of eligibility)
1945 Retro Hugo Award Finalists
The Golden Fleece, by Robert Graves (Cassell)
Land of Terror, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.)
“Shadow Over Mars” (The Nemesis from Terra), by Leigh Brackett (Startling Stories, Fall 1944)
Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord, by Olaf Stapledon (Secker & Warburg)
The Wind on the Moon, by Eric Linklater (Macmillan)
“The Winged Man”, by A.E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull (Astounding Science Fiction, May-June 1944)
“The Changeling”, by A.E. van Vogt (Astounding Science Fiction, April 1944)
“A God Named Kroo”, by Henry Kuttner (Thrilling Wonder Stories, Winter 1944)
“Intruders from the Stars”, by Ross Rocklynne (Amazing Stories, January 1944)
“The Jewel of Bas”, by Leigh Brackett (Planet Stories, Spring 1944)
“Killdozer!”, by Theodore Sturgeon (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1944)
“Trog”, by Murray Leinster (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1944)
“Arena”, by Fredric Brown (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1944)
“The Big and the Little” (“The Merchant Princes”), by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science Fiction, August 1944)
“The Children’s Hour”, by Lawrence O’Donnell (C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner) (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1944)
“City”, by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1944)
“No Woman Born”, by C.L. Moore (Astounding Science Fiction, December 1944)
“When the Bough Breaks”, by Lewis Padgett (C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner) (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1944)
Best Short Story
“And the Gods Laughed”, by Fredric Brown (Planet Stories, Spring 1944)
“Desertion”, by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1944)
“Far Centaurus”, by A. E. van Vogt (Astounding Science Fiction, January 1944)
“Huddling Place”, by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1944)
“I, Rocket”, by Ray Bradbury (Amazing Stories, May 1944)
“The Wedge” (“The Traders”), by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science Fiction, October 1944)
Captain Future, by Brett Sterling
The Cthulhu Mythos, by H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, and others
Doc Savage, by Kenneth Robeson/Lester Dent
Jules de Grandin, by Seabury Quinn
Pellucidar, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Shadow, by Maxwell Grant (Walter B. Gibson)
Best Related Work
Fancyclopedia, by Jack Speer (Forrest J. Ackerman)
’42 To ’44: A Contemporary Memoir Upon Human Behavior During the Crisis of the World Revolution, by H.G. Wells (Secker & Warburg)
Mr. Tompkins Explores the Atom, by George Gamow (Cambridge University Press)
Rockets: The Future of Travel Beyond the Stratosphere, by Willy Ley (Viking Press)
“The Science-Fiction Field”, by Leigh Brackett (Writer’s Digest, July 1944)
“The Works of H.P. Lovecraft: Suggestions for a Critical Appraisal”, by Fritz Leiber (The Acolyte, Fall 1944)
Best Graphic Story or Comic
Buck Rogers: “Hollow Planetoid”, by Dick Calkins (National Newspaper Service)
Donald Duck: “The Mad Chemist”, by Carl Barks (Dell Comics)
Flash Gordon: “Battle for Tropica”, by Alex Raymond (King Features Syndicate)
Flash Gordon: “Triumph in Tropica”, by Alex Raymond (King Features Syndicate)
The Spirit: “For the Love of Clara Defoe”, by Manly Wade Wellman, Lou Fine and Don Komisarow (Register and Tribune Syndicate)
Superman: “The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk”, by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (Detective Comics, Inc.)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
The Canterville Ghost, screenplay by Edwin Harvey Blum from a story by Oscar Wilde, directed by Jules Dassin (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM))
The Curse of the Cat People, written by DeWitt Bodeen, directed by Gunther V. Fritsch and Robert Wise (RKO Radio Pictures)
Donovan’s Brain, adapted by Robert L. Richards from a story by Curt Siodmak, producer, director and editor William Spier (CBS Radio Network)
House of Frankenstein, screenplay by Edward T. Lowe, Jr. from a story by Curt Siodmak, directed by Erle C. Kenton (Universal Pictures)
The Invisible Man’s Revenge, written by Bertram Millhauser, directed by Ford Beebe (Universal Pictures)
It Happened Tomorrow, screenplay and adaptation by Dudley Nichols and René Clair, directed by René Clair (Arnold Pressburger Films)
Best Editor, Short Form
John W. Campbell, Jr.
Oscar J. Friend
Raymond A. Palmer
W. Scott Peacock
Best Professional Artist
The Acolyte, edited by Francis T. Laney and Samuel D. Russell
Diablerie, edited by Bill Watson
Futurian War Digest, edited by J. Michael Rosenblum
Shangri L’Affaires, edited by Charles Burbee
Voice of the Imagi-Nation, edited by Forrest J. Ackerman and Myrtle R. Douglas
This sealed, gasketed case not only protects boards from the elements, but it includes all the required mounting hardware for boards compatible with the Adafruit Feather system, including MCCI Catena® boards like the 4610, 4612, 4801 and 4470.
Shown in these photographs with an MCCI Catena 4801, the case includes a removable plexiglass base-plate, standoffs and related hardware. The case also includes cable glands to allow entry for field wiring or power.
This case does not come with a Feather / Catena board or other electronics; those are sold separately.
The case is sealed, and therefore environmental sensors will not track the external conditions as closely as they will with a ventilated case.
These MCCI "Catena" boards are interesting at first glance. LoRa for your wireless needs. Cortex M0 CPU, so not enough horsepower for CircuitPython. But they innovate in a few ways, such as by switching out some solder pins for screw terminals. Probably very good for specific applications. And check out the Catena 4470 which is a modbus feather wing. Neat!
Last Tuesday we launched a National Emergency Library—1.4M digitized books available to users without a waitlist—in response to the rolling wave of school and library closures that remain in place to date. We’ve received dozens of messages of thanks from teachers and school librarians, who can now help their students access books while their schools, school libraries, and public libraries are closed.
We’ve been asked why we suspended waitlists. On March 17, the American Library Association Executive Board took the extraordinary step to recommend that the nation’s libraries close in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In doing so, for the first time in history, the entirety of the nation’s print collection housed in libraries is now unavailable, locked away indefinitely behind closed doors.
This is a tremendous and historic outage. According to IMLS FY17 Public Libraries survey (the last fiscal year for which data is publicly available), in FY17 there were more than 716 million physical books in US public libraries. Using the same data, which shows a 2-3% decline in collection holdings per year, we can estimate that public libraries have approximately 650 million books on their shelves in 2020. Right now, today, there are 650 million books that tax-paying citizens have paid to access that are sitting on shelves in closed libraries, inaccessible to them. And that’s just in public libraries.
And so, to meet this unprecedented need at a scale never before seen, we suspended waitlists on our lending collection. As we anticipated, critics including the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers have released statements (here and here) condemning the National Emergency Library and the Internet Archive. Both statements contain falsehoods that are being spread widely online. To counter the misinformation, we are addressing the most egregious points here and have also updated our FAQs.
One of the statements suggests you’ve acquired your books illegally. Is that true? No. The books in the National Emergency Library have been acquired through purchase or donation, just like a traditional library. The Internet Archive preserves and digitizes the books it owns and makes those scans available for users to borrow online, normally one at a time. That borrowing threshold has been suspended through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency.
Is the Internet Archive a library? Yes. The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity and is recognized as a library by the government.
What is the legal basis for Internet Archive’s digital lending during normal times? The concept and practice of controlled digital lending (CDL) has been around for about a decade. It is a lend-like-print system where the library loans out a digital version of a book it owns to one reader at a time, using the same technical protections that publishers use to prevent further redistribution. The legal doctrine underlying this system is fair use, as explained in the Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending.
“Our principal legal argument for controlled digital lending is that fair use— an “equitable rule of reason”—permits libraries to do online what they have always done with physical collections under the first sale doctrine: lend books. The first sale doctrine, codified in Section 109 of the Copyright Act, provides that anyone who legally acquires a copyrighted work from the copyright holder receives the right to sell, display, or otherwise dispose of that particular copy, notwithstanding the interests of the copyright owner. This is how libraries loan books. Additionally, fair use ultimately asks, “whether the copyright law’s goal of promoting the Progress of Science and useful Arts would be better served by allowing the use than by preventing it.” In this case we believe it would be. Controlled digital lending as we conceive it is premised on the idea that libraries can embrace their traditional lending role to the digital environment. The system we propose maintains the market balance long-recognized by the courts and Congress as between rightsholders and libraries, and makes it possible for libraries to fulfill their “vital function in society” by enabling the lending of books to benefit the general learning, research, and intellectual enrichment of readers by allowing them limited and controlled digital access to materials online.”
Some have argued that the ReDigi case that held that commercially reselling iTunes music files is not a fair use “precludes” CDL. This is not true, and othershaveargued that this case actually makes the fair use case for CDL stronger.
How is the National Emergency Library different from the Internet Archive’s normal digital lending? Because libraries around the country and globe are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Internet Archive has suspended our waitlists temporarily. This means that multiple readers can access a digital book simultaneously, yet still by borrowing the book, meaning that it is returned after 2 weeks and cannot be redistributed.
Is the Internet Archive making these books available without restriction? No. Readers who borrow a book from the National Emergency Library get it for only two weeks, and their access is disabled unless they check it out again. Internet Archive also uses the same technical protections that publishers use on their ebook offerings in order to prevent additional copies from being made or redistributed.
What about those who say we’re stealing from authors & publishers? Libraries buy books or get them from donations and lend them out. This has been true and legal for centuries. The idea that this is stealing fundamentally misunderstands the role of libraries in the information ecosystem. As Professor Ariel Katz, in his paper Copyright, Exhaustion, and the Role of Libraries in the Ecosystem of Knowledgeexplains:
“Historically, libraries predate copyright, and the institutional role of libraries and institutions of higher learning in the “promotion of science” and the “encouragement of learning” was acknowledged before legislators decided to grant authors exclusive rights in their writings. The historical precedence of libraries and the legal recognition of their public function cannot determine every contemporary copyright question, but this historical fact is not devoid of legal consequence… As long as the copyright ecosystem has a public purpose, then some of the functions that libraries perform are not only fundamental but also indispensable for attaining this purpose. Therefore, the legal rules … that allow libraries to perform these functions remain, and will continue to be, as integral to the copyright system as the copyright itself.”
Do libraries have to ask authors or publishers to digitize their books? No. Digitizing books to make accessible copies available to the visually impaired is explicitly allowed under 17 USC 121 in the US and around the world under the Marrakesh Treaty. Further, US courts have held that it is fair use for libraries to digitize books for various additional purposes.
Have authors opted out? Yes, we’ve had authors opt out. We anticipated that would happen as well; in fact, we launched with clear instructions on how to opt out because we understand that authors and creators have been impacted by the same global pandemic that has shuttered libraries and left students without access to print books. Our takedowns are completed quickly and the submitter is notified via email.
Doesn’t my local library already provide access to all of these books? No. The Internet Archive has focused our collecting on books published between the 1920s and early 2000s, the vast majority of which don’t have a commercially available ebook. Our collection priorities have focused on the broad range of library books to support education and scholarship and have not focused on the latest best sellers that would be featured in a bookstore.
Further, there are approximately 650 million books in public libraries that are locked away and inaccessible during closures related to COVID-19. Many of these are print books that don’t have an ebook equivalent except for the version we’ve scanned. For those books, the only way for a patron to access them while their library is closed is through our scanned copy.
I’ve looked at the books and they’re just images of the pages. I get better ebooks from my public library. Yes, you do. The Internet Archive takes a picture of each page of its books, and then makes those page images available in an online book reader and encrypted PDFs. We also make encrypted EPUBs available, but they are based on uncorrected OCR, which has errors. The experience is inferior to what you’ve become accustomed to with Kindle devices. We are making an accessible facsimile of the printed book available to users, not a high quality EPUB like you would find with a modern ebook.
What will happen after June 30 or the end of the US national emergency? Waitlists will be suspended through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later. After that, the waitlists will be reimplemented thus limiting the number of borrowable copies to those physical books owned and not being lent.