The National Library of New Zealand, which had announced plans to ship more than 400,000 books they are de-listing from their Overseas Published Collections catalogs to the Internet Archive for digitization and inclusion in its Open Library, now is reconisdering “in light of concerns raised by the various interested parties, including issues associated with copyright.” The National Library will not export any of the OPC until it “consider[s] its next steps.”
The Authors Guild reports that in November authors held a protest in Wellington calling for the library to respect copyright. And the New Zealand Society of Authors and the Publishers Association have filed a petition with New Zealand’s Attorney General to investigate the legality of the partnership between the National Library and the Internet Archive.
National Librarian Te Pouhuaki Rachel Esson said in a press release that the National Library has listened to multiple views and worked hard to support New Zealanders’ ongoing access to books from the Overseas Published Collections.
“We are aiming to balance our duty to all New Zealanders with the concerns of our valued book sector colleagues and will continue to build relationships with them,” says Ms Esson.
Ms Esson also says, “It is part of the National Library’s mission to remove barriers to knowledge, ensure New Zealanders have the skills to create knowledge and preserve knowledge for future generations. We are taking some time to look at all available options that align with our collection plans, while preserving author and publisher interests.”
When the project first began mid-2018 it appeared likely that books remaining at the end of the process would face secure destruction. The National Library continues to work to avoid this outcome.
SFWA says its Legal Affairs committee “will continue to follow further developments closely.”