A major publication lawsuit would strengthen surveillance in the future

In the midst of the turning point of library digitization, publishing corporations seek to deconstruct and redefine the role of libraries in our society. their suit Wants to stop debts purchased legally and scanned future of books robber and opaque licensing agreements and like netflix Platform to replace library card Credit Card, If successful, they would wipe out the public’s last great site to access information free of corporate or government surveillance. This serious threat to the privacy and security of readers has largely gone unnoticed.

like big tech monopolies Amazon and its Kindle e-reader Shamelessly collects and stores data on readers. They do this to exploit readers’ interests and habits for advertising and to gain market share—but the same data is used by law enforcement to prosecute people searching for topics such as abortion or gender affirmation health care. Or can be shared with bounty hunters. Libraries, on the other hand, have an age-old practice of strictly protecting the privacy of their readers. Even the Oklahoma library system that recently intimidated librarian Still doubling down on providing better anonymity for patrons if they “use the word abortion.” The function of the library is contrary to the privileges of surveillance capitalism.

Today, libraries are generally blocked Buying and owning digital books-And readers are in a similar boat, Instead, publishers only provide high-cost licenses for which libraries rely on emergency fund And may be able to afford only the most popular tasks. These costs have put libraries on a Loss Especially in serving traditionally marginalized communities, including youth, disabled, rural and low-income readers who can rely on e-books. Already, public schools bound by state law to protect their students’ data are paying $27 per digital copy anne franks diary of a young girl every year. Publishers are sending a clear message that privacy will be a premium feature if they have their way.

this case a digital book burning To eliminate the most viable avenue for libraries to loan and preserve diverse, surveillance-free digital books: scanning the books themselves. If libraries do not own or control systems for accessing digital books, or can only purchase digital books with a “let our corporation survey their patrons” discount, those who rely on digital books from libraries can are more likely to be surveyed than those who do not. Enough to travel to see a paper book.

But it’s not just readers whose opportunities are on the chopping block. If publishers are able to charge more money for a smaller list of books, authors will be in a more dire position for publishing opportunities, thereby reducing the already exclusive and White industry less hospitable For diverse and emerging writers. To get published at all, even more authors will be forced to turn to Amazon’s extractive self-publishing e-book And audiobook monopoly. To access those books, readers must already pay in both dollars and data,

surveillance In danger Traditionally marginalized people the most, and the publication urgently needs to confront this blind spot. Writers listed in the suit About 90% white, 60% male and 17% appear to be dead, While it would be ridiculous to forbid dead authors from speaking, others have fully complicit: publishing companies, associations and other institutions have been allowed to defiantly claim that libraries exist in the digital age. Harm their intellectual property and smear as librarian “mouthpiece”“For Big Tech.

Writers listed in the suit James S.A. Corey, who is best known Spread, a game of Thrones’ George RR Martin, Gillian Flynn gone girl of fame, and Elizabeth Gilbert eat Pray Love, brain brown very courageous Also listed are several titles by Lemony Snicket. Sarah Crossan’s YA Novel Oppose, and Emily St. John Mandels station eleven The Internet Archive is being sued for ownership and debt. Ironically, Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath The publication is also included in the arsenal of giants.

The lawsuit illustrates a new level of reckless greed from publishing corporations and their shareholders, swamped in a record-profit-fuel PR campaigns using insufficiently compensated writers as human shields. The outcome will not only shape access to knowledge, information, culture and community for readers and writers – it will determine the safety of readers who seek information that may be restricted or criminalized depending on where they live.

No one should be arrested for reading a book. If publishing companies truly have the best interests of our society at heart, they will engage in good faith to help preserve library ownership and digital books in a way that is fair to the authors and that puts the safety of readers first. Is.

Lia Holland is the Director of Campaigns and Communications at Fight for the Future. Jordan Paul-Slater is the communications and privacy intern at Fight for the Future.

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