RWA Alert: OpenLibrary

As reported by The Society of Authors and The Science Fiction Writers of America, the Internet Archive, a “non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more,” has scanned and made books that are still in copyright available for borrowing through their OpenLibrary project.

The OpenLibrary receives donations of books from libraries and individuals, scans them to produce digital copies, wraps the copies in DRM, and lends them in much the same way a typical library would, i.e., only one copy can be in circulation at a time, and once the lending period is through, the file is rendered unreadable on the borrower’s device. That said, the DRM can be stripped from the copy and made readable again even after the lending period.

RWA is issuing this alert for members who may be concerned that their copyright is being infringed upon. If you believe your copyright has been violated, you can issue a DMCA takedown notice to the site, or ask your publisher or agent to do so on your behalf. To find if your books are available to be borrowed on OpenLibrary, use the site’s search function to search for your titles or your name. Not all books listed on the site are available to borrow, so you will need to click on each title and verify there is a “Borrow” or “Join Waitlist” button.

At the bottom of this page and linked here, you will find sample text for a DMCA takedown notice. This notice can be sent to The Internet Archive at:

Internet Archive Copyright Agent
Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: 415-561-6767

To learn more about copyright and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, you can visit the Writer’s Toolkit page on the RWA site.

Sample DMCA Letter

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