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I'm not a lawyer, but I'd argue you've published your content by making it available in your index. An archive or library doesn't publish content, but offers access to content having been published.

If you made a reasonable effort to control access to your works that might be a different story.




When I publish copyrighted material that I own and I do not grant others a license to copy it, their reproduction rights are limited to fair use. Reasonable uses of fair use are things such as keeping a private copy for your own study and use of small excerpts in scholarly articles and criticisms.

Fair use has never been considered by the courts to include making unlimited copies of the entirety of the work and distributing them worldwide to others. This is clearly a violation of copyright and is a criminal act under US law.


That's true for books (and public libraries, a status which the Internet Archive holds in the US, if I'm not mistaken; that doesn't change their status w.r.t. the rest of the world, however), but I don't believe you can directly transfer rules regarding books to websites.

The Internet Archive publishes the content, they don't use a robots.txt, canonical-tag (they do set a link-header) or robots meta-tag asking search engines not to index their version. For all intents and purposes, it's just a copy of your content published on their website.

I understand their goal, I'm not opposed to it on a fundamental level, but I do believe that the choice of participation should rest with the content creator.


Since copyright is first and foremost intended to be a mechanism to enrich the long-term public good, I'd argue that a rightsholder's short-sighted intent to control their work is outweighed by the public good done through archiving and preserving a work.

Copyright was never intended to give authors ironclad control over their works in perpetuity. It was intended to give a limited period of exclusivity, in return for the expectation that the work would always become public property. Eternal copyright upsets that balance, and shackles public culture behind bars.


"...but I don't believe you can directly transfer rules regarding books to websites."

The rules for copyright do apply to websites. Here is what the US Copyright Office says:

"What does copyright protect? Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section 'What Works Are Protected.' ... When is my work protected? Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."

Source URL = https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html

More FAQs: https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/

'Circular 1' URL = https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf


The difference is that, while the contents of a book are covered by copyright in the same way that a website, a handwritten letter, or a photograph is, the physical artifact that is the book itself can be loaned, sold, etc. because of first sale doctrine.


Physical libraries lending books are much more protected by first sale doctrine than any other legislation. There are some additional rights for libraries/archives at both the federal and (in some cases) state level but it's very far from a carte blanche to replicate and freely distribute copyrighted digital content.




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