Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) and the Internet Archive

The NWU presented a public informational webinar on “What is the Internet Archive doing with our books?” on April 27 and May 5, 2020. The webinar explains “Controlled Digital Lending”, the “National Emergency Library”, and “One Web Page for Every Page of Every Book”:

Announcement and follow-up articles from the NWU and affiliated organizations:

What is Controlled Digital Lending (CDL)?
According to the FAQ about Controlled Digital Lending issued by the NWU and other organizations, “CDL is neither ‘controlled’ nor ‘lending. It’s a scheme for the production and distribution of inferior, unauthorized bootleg e-book editions of printed books.” The Internet Archive has scanned and is distributing unauthorized copies of hundreds of thousands of books, and is scanning another thousand books every day. Read more from the FAQ:


What is the position of the NWU on CDL?
See the “Appeal to readers and librarians from the victims of CDL” co-signed by the NWU and other national and international organizations:


Is “Controlled Digital Lending” the only way that the Internet Archive is distributing copies of scanned books?
No. Unauthorized copies of each page of each book scanned by the Internet Archive are distributed in five different ways, including “One Web Page for Every Page of Every Book”, as explained here:


Are there ways other than piracy to provide distance learning materials during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes. We have some suggestions here:


What is the position of the NWU regarding “e-lending” by libraries?
See the NWU statement, NWU Supports Librarians’ Objections to Publishers’ E-Book Licensing Terms (October 5, 2012)
What is the NWU doing about this?
See the Appeal, this announcement of our campaign against CDL, and the articles from our blog listed above.
How can I find out if a book which I wrote or to which I contributed has been scanned and is being distributed by the Internet Archive under CDL?
Search this catalog and look for listings with a button that says “Borrow.” All you have to do is sign up for a free Internet Archive account to view or download scanned images of any of these books.
What can I do about this?
If you are an NWU member, contact the NWU Grievance and Contract Committee for advice and assistance.
What else can NWU members do to help with this campaign?
Tell other writers what’s happening. Tell your readers, fans, friends, and family that if they are reading e-books from, they are reading pirate editions for which writers like you have not been paid. Talk to the librarians you know about how this is diverting readers from legitimate digital versions, and undermining writers’ incomes. Contact the NWU Book Division if you’d like to help with this campaign.
I’m not an NWU member yet. How can I help?
Please consider joining the NWU and the fight for writers’ rights. Our strength lies in the solidarity of writers in all genres and all media.
Press coverage of this campaign against CDL:

Additional discussion of “Controlled Digital Lending” and the Internet Archive’s “National Emergency Library”:

Legal and governmental challenges to CDL: