ASMP Joins Coalition to Oppose Controlled Digital Lending (CDL)

by | Feb 13, 2019 | Advocacy, Copyright Reform

Today ASMP is joining a coalition of 37 national and international organizations representing authors, photographers, graphic artists, and translators, in making an “Appeal to readers and librarians from the victims of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL).”  We have joined this effort believing it is facilitating electronic distribution of books in a way that constitutes copyright infringement.

As described in the Appeal, CDL is the flawed legal theory under which “printed books are being scanned and distributed online to readers worldwide by the Internet Archive and U.S. and Canadian libraries” without permission from, or any payment to, authors or publishers.

“We oppose so-called ‘Controlled Digital Lending’ (CDL) as a flagrant violation of copyright and authors’ rights,” the Appeal states.

The Appeal is accompanied by a detailed FAQ which explains what the Internet Archive is doing, why CDL is illegal in the U.S. and other countries, and how it undermines authors’ incomes.

“The copyright infringement inherent in CDL is not a victimless crime…. CDL interferes with many of the normal ways, including new ways largely unnoticed by librarians, that authors are earning money from written and graphic works included in so-called ‘out of print’ books.”

Signers of the Appeal include “working writers, translators, photographers, and graphic artists; unions, organizations, and federations representing the creators of works included in published books; book publishers; and reproduction rights and public lending rights organizations.”

“We appeal for a dialogue among writers, authors, publishers, and librarians on how to enable and create the digital libraries we all want, in ways that fully respect authors’ rights,” the Appeal concludes.