“Can Archive.org legally scan and then post my book online since they call themselves a ‘library?'” NO!!!

“Can Archive.org legally scan and then post my book online since they call themselves a ‘library?'” NO!!!

I received the following email last week:

I found my book on archive.org and sent them the letter you recommended. Their site says it was “donated” by “Boston Public.” It’s a first edition of the book (published in 2002) and was only published in print. It can’t be purchased from the site, only “borrowed” for 14 days. Apparently, that has happened 9 times. So are they now trying to look like a library?

How does this affect the copyright issue? For example, if a library buys a book, people can freely check the book out. So, if the library then donates the book to another library, wouldn’t the same thing hold true? Of course, archive.org is not a library (in the traditional sense of the word) so they are clearly trying to get around the issues. But, are they violating copyright if they don’t sell copies of the book?

Here’s my answer:

Even if they claim to be a library, they need to purchase a copy of the ebook, as well as be granted specific rights to distribute that ebook. And, that permission must be granted by the rights holder, either the publisher or author.

Libraries are NOT permitted to scan printed books, turn them into ebooks, and let people start downloading and reading them. That’s a clear violation of copyright law.

All authors should check that site to see if their copyrights are being infringed, too. Read THIS ARTICLE for more information.


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About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

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Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

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Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.

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One Response to "“Can Archive.org legally scan and then post my book online since they call themselves a ‘library?'” NO!!!"

  1. pamelaallegretto  April 21, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Good advice!