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Internet Archive Uses DMCA Takedown On DRM Removal Tool

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

The Internet archive appears to be acting on behalf of book publishers who embed the highly controversial DRM (Digital rights management) in their products as a way to stave off copyright infringement.

Not a move that many would have expected from the Internet Archive (IA) – a non-profit who says its mission is to to effectively be the guardian of online content – but here we are, with DMCA notices being sent from the organization to Microsoft’s GitHub – to remove, i.e., censor, a repository for a software tool that can remove DRM from books.

The tool, DeGouRou, lets people save copies of borrowed books free of DRM.

The Internet Archive says it supports open source models and an open internet, and is creating archives of web pages, in their hundreds of thousands.

In addition, users can borrow scanned books that cannot be copied. A digital version of a library, you might say.

But now, the model – that got tweaked at the onset of the pandemic to let users borrow more than one digital copy – seems to be buckling under pressure from an angry, and powerful publishing industry.

Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley and Penguin Random House all banded up to sue the IA as basically running a copyright infringement operation. It is speculated that this latest, curious move, to try and get projects nixed on GitHub, might be an one way for the Internet Archive to get in some sort of good graces of the publishing giants that are pummeling it with legal action, where the courts have so far been siding with – the giants.

The notice received by GitHub from the Internet Archive, as noticed by Torrent Freak, states that DeGouRou bypasses “industry standard” used by the non-profit, that lets users borrow, read, and return encrypted books.

And even though in its own words, the IA is not nor can it be a copyright owner – it is still going to this trouble as a matter of “duty.”

Toward its own users? Hardly.

The Internet Archive apparently doesn’t even have formal permission from those who do hold copyright to do this – which they’re supposed to have if the’re filing a DMCA takedown request – they could easily do it themselves, but why be “the bad guy” who hounds down projects on GitHub, when you can “persuade” Internet Archive to take on the role.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

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