The untold story of the city

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While Internet Archive calls itself a digital library, it operates differently from public libraries that have e-book lending programs. Public libraries get licenses from publishers for the e-books they lend, and publishers receive payments, according to the terms that are set. Internet Archive doesn’t get licenses from publishers but instead relies on donated or purchased books or copies it acquires through collaborations with physical libraries. The books are then scanned and made available for one borrower at a time, for 14 days. With that restriction removed, the archive is now operating more or less like a free digital book site.

 

In an interview, Brewster Kale, the founder and digital librarian of Internet Archive, said the group decided to make its scanned books more widely available after hearing from teachers who were looking for more resources to teach remotely after schools closed. Authors who don’t want their work to be available through the site can opt out, he said.

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