Internet Archive has announced the Temporary National Emergency Library will be closing two weeks early, citing a recent lawsuit brought on by four publishers. The Internet Archive (IA) created the library, a collection of 1.4 million free ebooks, in March in response to libraries around the world closing their doors amid coronavirus concerns. Four major publishers filed a lawsuit against the IA on June 1st alleging “willful mass copyright infringement.”
The library was originally going to be live through June 30th, but will now close June 16th. The books in the library were scanned and made available to patrons for two weeks, free of charge, The New York Times reported. After June 16th, however, the library will return to “controlled digital lending” -- a digital method of traditional library lending in which a library pays licensing fees to publishers, and allows only one reader per ebook at a time.