Judge Harold Baer Jr., ruled on 10/10/12 that online library/book repository, HathiTrust, was operating within the the boundaries of fair use while digitizing and making available more than ten million works to online researchers around the world. This is a major boon for HathiTrust, as well as the five universities responsible for building the online repository.
The Author’s Guild along with several other entities and individual authors had filed a lawsuit in September, 2011 seeking to shutdown the HathiTrust due to “…the systematic, concerted, widespread, and unauthorized reproduction” of copyrighted material.
Those from the library world, fair use supporters, and advocates for the visually disabled applaud the Judge’s recent ruling, believing that the HathiTrust is for the greater good — making materials more accessible to researchers, allowing for different and new uses for materials, and for opening access to materials for the visually impaired.
This ruling could have great impact on future library digitization projects. Additionally, the outcome of this case is expected to have implications on fair use.
Read more at The Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/22/12.