Authors Guild v. HathiTrust
The Authors Guild v. HathiTrust case centers on a copyright infringement case filed by the Authors Guild (also notable as a plaintiff in the Google Books case) against HathiTrust, a not-for-profit library organization dedicated to making a limited number of uses of digitized books.
The District Court issued a strong opinion in October, dismissing the case in favor of HathiTrust. The Court characterized HathiTrust's activities -- indexing books for search, making backups available for libraries that own copies of particular books, and providing access to people with print disabilities -- as an "invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts that at the same time effectuates the ideals espoused by the ADA."
The Authors Guild appealed the decision to the Second Circuit. In June, 2014, the Second Circuit affirmed fair use of HathiTrust's disability copies and its full-text indexing; affirmed the Authors Guild's lack of standing; and remanded to consider whether any plaintiffs have standing to challenge library preservation copying.
- Authors Guild sues HathiTrust
- Oct. 10, 2012 - Case dismissed; very favorable decision for libraries.
- Decision available at scribd.
- Analysis from UMass Scholarly Communication Office.
- ARL's comments (available at the ARL Public Policy blog).
- The Library Copyright Alliance press release on the decision.
- ARL webcast video on the decision.
- Nov. 8, 2012 - Authors Guild announced they are appealing the decision.
- June 10, 2014 - HathiTrust Wins on Appeal.
- Analysis from UMass Scholarly Communication Office (June 12, 2014)
Last Edited: 19 October 2014