October 21, 2021

“Authors Guild v. HathiTrust: Implications for Libraries”, Analysis of Decision From Library Copyright Alliance

A new seven page analysis of the June 10, 2014 U.S. Court of Appeals Authors Guild v. HathiTrust decision written by Jonathan Band, policybandwidth and legal counsel to the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA).

The LCA consists of ARL, ALA, and ACRL.

From the Conclusion of the Document:

The HathiTrust decision provides libraries with much greater certainty concerning their mass digitization projects. The decision indicates that the act of digitization, and the storage of digital files, is a fair use if the libraries provide full-text search functionality and full-text access to disabled individuals. With respect to full-text access to the non-disabled, the court ruled that a use could be transformative if the function or purpose of the use is different from that of the original work. This holding could reasonably be interpreted as permitting full-text access to most digitized archival material (except some popular entertainment materials). Full-text access to certain categories of digitized books, e.g., older books in certain scientific fields or books that are infrequently circulated, may also be permitted. Further discussion between librarians and scholars may lead to other approaches that could provide a basis for allowing full-text access to additional books.

Direct to Full Text: Authors Guild v. HathiTrust: Implications for Libraries

See Also: Full Text of Appeals Court Decision (Bottom of This Post)


About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.