April 19, 2018

Appeals Court Upholds Wins for Fair Use in HathiTrust Case

On June 10, the U.S. Second Court of Appeals handed down its latest decision in the continuing legal battle between the HathiTrust and the Authors Guild, and it is good news for fair use advocates. A three judge panel largely confirmed the decision handed down in 2012, which found that the HathiTrust’s activities of digitizing books from its member libraries and increasing their discoverability by letting users search for key terms within titles are fair use. The court also upheld Baer’s finding that the Guild lacks standing to bring cases as an association, though individual members can do so.

HathiTrust Doubles DPLA Collection with More Than Three Million Books

The HathiTrust Digital Library will become The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)’s single largest content hub, the two institutions announced on June 18. The metadata records associated with some 3,384,638 volumes (and growing daily) held by the HathiTrust will be accessible on the web at dp.la, and through the DPLA application programming interface (API). (The digitized volumes themselves will continue to reside in HathiTrust.)

Begins Today: A HathiTrust and DPLA Partnership

From the DPLA Blog: The HathiTrust Digital Library will partner with the recently launched Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to expand discovery and use of HathiTrust’s public domain and other openly available content.

Academic Authors: Guild Does Not Speak for Us

On June 11, some 133 academic authors filed an amici curiae brief in the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust case, in support of the HathiTrust. (In October 2012, The Honorable Harold Baer, Jr., held that the HathiTrust’s mass digitization is fair use, but the Guild filed an appeal in November.) The brief distinguished their interest from that of the Guild’s members and pointed out that they are not only different, but diametrically opposed.

Settlement Expands UC Berkeley Library Service to Disabled

Rarely are defendants in a dispute settled out of court enthusiastic about the remedies they’re required to supply. But Elizabeth Dupuis, UC Berkeley Associate University Librarian and Director, Doe/Moffitt Libraries, told LJ that the library is excited by the prospect of unprecedented access. But then, this isn’t exactly your standard adversarial legal case. Print-disabled U.C. Berkeley students David Jaulus, Brandon King, and Tabitha Mancini, represented by Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), had entered into structured negotiations—a collaborative problem-solving alternative to litigation—with the university over their inability to access materials.

Reveal Digital Seeks Sweet-Spot Funding Model for Digitizing Special Collections

Digital information industry veteran Jeff Moyer last month launched Reveal Digital, a company that aims to use a lean, efficient funding model to digitize special collections and then make those collections open access. Reveal will treat digitization “as a service to libraries rather than a more traditional publishing or product approach,” he said.

Authors Guild Appeals HathiTrust Decision, Library Copyright Alliance Issues Statement

On November 8, the Authors Guild appealed the verdict in its case against the HathiTrust to the U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit. The Guild had filed suit against the Trust in 2011, alleging that the Trust’s digitization efforts constituted copyright infringement. However, on October 10, Judge Baer of the United States District Court Southern […]

HathiTrust Verdict Could Transform University Access for the Blind

While the verdict in the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust case has been widely hailed for its impact on how libraries can handle digitization for search, the findings on access for the print-disabled may lead to even more profound changes in practice. On an Association of Research Libraries (ARL) webcast, Daniel F. Goldstein, counsel of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), said the decision could revolutionize university services to their blind and print disabled students.

Access Should Be Blind | Editorial

For years, those disenfranchised from intellectual freedom have included the blind and the print disabled. The Authors Guild’s recent attempt to impound the print collection scans from the HathiTrust would have only further hampered these disenchanted minds.

Steering an Elephant | Peer to Peer Review

There are two things I know about elephants. First, they have long memories. Second, they are large, ponderous beasts, and getting an elephant to move where you want it to go takes care, patience, and agility. It is that legendary memory that caused the HathiTrust to name itself with the Hindi word for an elephant. As for the second characteristic of an elephant, it came in to my mind as I listened last month to reports about Hathi and marveled at the careful and meticulous work that is being done there to make public domain works accessible to the public. The elephant that is the HathiTrust is indeed being directed with patience and agility.