September 15, 2014

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 [...]

Judge’s Ruling a Win for Fair Use in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust Case

The Honorable Harold Baer, Jr., yesterday held that the HathiTrust’s mass digitization is fair use, in spite of the challenges raised in a lawsuit by the Author’s Guild and others, both associations and individual authors. Crucial to his reading of the case is Baer’s rejection of the plaintiff’s theory that section 108 of the copyright law prevents libraries claiming fair use as a defense.

Baer said in his opinion, “I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made by Defendants’ MDP, and would require that I terminate this invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts that at the same time effectuates the ideals espoused by the ADA.”

Google Allowed to Appeal Class Action Status of Authors Guild Case

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The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will allow Google to appeal the class action status of the seven-year old Google Inc. v. Authors Guild case, the court announced in an order this morning. Decertifying the case would force Author’s Guild members who dispute the digitization of their works to sue Google individually. Google has argued that many authors have benefited economically from its Google Books project, and whether a scan violated copyright or was protected under fair use doctrine should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Google Seeks Dismissal of Authors Guild Case [UPDATED]

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Arguing that authors have suffered no economic harm from the scanning of more than 15 million books, Google on Friday filed a motion seeking the dismissal of the long-running Authors Guild v. Google case. The motion states that the digitized books, and the Google Books service that they enable, are “not a substitute for the [physical] books themselves—readers still must buy a book from a store or borrow it from a library to read it. Rather, Google Books is an important advance on the card-catalogue method of finding books,” that allows full-text searching.

Academics Object to Class Certification in Google Books Case

University of California, Berkeley, law professor Pamela Samuelson, on behalf of more than 80 academics, sent a letter on Monday to Judge Denny Chin asserting that academic authors should not be included as part of a class authorization in the high profile Google Books case, due to fundamental disagreements between the interests of academics and other types of authors.

Google Files Motion to Dismiss in Google Books Case

Google yesterday filed a motion to dismiss the Authors Guild as a plaintiff in the long-running Google Books case, arguing that the organization lacks “associational standing” to sue on behalf of individual copyright holders.

Authors Guild Weighs in on Amazon Lending Library

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The Authors Guild called Amazon’s recently launched ebook lending library a “mess” and claimed that Amazon appeared to breaching contracts with some publishers by including their titles in the lending program.