Excerpt from: Inside Higher Ed (click for full post)
Copyright holders lost another battle this week in their legal war with universities over the boundaries of educational “fair use” in the digital age. A district court judge on Wednesday issued a decision in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, a year-long lawsuit over a shared digital repository based at the University of Michigan.
The decision comes on the heels of a similarly disappointing decision for copyright holders in a landmark infringement case involving electronic reserves at libraries; and a second defeat in another copyright case involving online video streaming at the University of California at Los Angeles.
The Michigan library formed the HathiTrust with several other universities after Google scanned their print books and left them with a collection of digital copies. The guild sued HathiTrust and its partners last fall, objecting to the libraries’ decision to make limited use of its holdings — such as making digital book copies available to disabled students and allowing researchers to search the full digital texts for keywords — without paying for permission. Authors and publishers said such practices would essentially deprive them of potential sales.
District Judge Harold Baer ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the HathiTrust and the universities.