Edit: The first version of the title of this post was considerably more incendiary than intended. I changed the title about 15 seconds after publishing this post, and I sincerely hope you did not see my mistake.
When Brewster Kahle finally released a public statement on the controversy surrounding the Internet Archive’s pirate site, the Open Library, Kahle didn’t say the Open Library was shutting down, and he didn’t apologize, but he did make the claim that the IA promptly responded to DMCA notices:
When a rights holder wants a work that was uploaded by a user taken down, a well known “Notice and Takedown” procedure is in place. The Internet Archive takes prompt action and follows the procedure, generally resulting in the work being taken down.
As I pointed out a month ago, the IA had taken 3 weeks to not respond to a takedown notice, so their response could not possibly be described as prompt.
But based on the experiences Victoria Strauss recounted today I would say that “glacial ” would be a better term.
Victoria Strauss just published a post over at Writer Beware where she lays out the steps she took to try to get one of her books removed from the Open Library pirate site.
Sending a DMCA notice didn’t work, but making a legal threat on the IA’s blog did:
One of the questions that has concerned SFWA and other writers’ groups is how the IA responds to DMCA notices. So on January 1, I sent one for Passion Blue.
No response. On January 9, I sent another.
Still nothing. On January 25, I sent a third DMCA notice.
Well, this was annoying, especially since, in a January 24 post to the Internet Archive blog, IA founder Brewster Kahle promised “prompt action” on DMCA requests. But hey, maybe the IA folks were just swamped with takedown notices and were working through a big backlog. I resolved to be patient.
Then, on January 27, author Virginia Anderson alerted me to her blog post about her experience with Open Library and the IA. Like me, she’d found one of her books available, had sent DMCA notices, and had heard nothing back. Frustrated, she posted a comment on the IA blog, indicating that she’d be seeking legal advice if she didn’t get a reply (the IA blog is moderated, and Ms. Anderson’s comment never appeared publicly). Within 36 hours, the IA responded in email, and the digitized versions of her book were taken down.
Well, I thought, I can do that. So on January 28, I hopped on over to the IA blog and posted this comment:
I made a screenshot because I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be let through, and I was right. However, within 24 hours I got an email identical to the one Virginia Anderson received, ostensibly in response to my third DMCA notice.
On checking Open Library, I found not just that Passion Blue was gone, but the other three books had been taken down as well. (The encrypted DAISY versions are still available, but I have no quarrel with that; many publishing contracts allow publishers to grant rights to non-profit organizations that serve the visually impaired, without compensation to the author).
Have you had any luck getting your books removed from that pirate site?