Saturday, September 17, 2011

HathiTrust Digital Library Hit By Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Earlier this week, the Australian Society of Authors, the Quebec writers' union UNEQ and the Authors Guild (USA) launched a copyright infringement lawsuit against the HathiTrust digital repository and five major US universities involved in a project to digitize millions of books. Google provided the universities with the digital scans of the works.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants are involved in the unauthorized reproduction and distribution of 7 million copyrighted works. A central element in the controversy is related to "orphan" works. These are works still covered by copyright but that are out of print and whose authors cannot be located.

The Vancouver Sun explained the Canadian angle to the lawsuit in its September 13, 2011 article U.S. colleges hit with copyright infringement complaint from Canadian writers.

The Library Copyright Alliance, a coalition of US library associations, has criticized the lawsuit and the Association of Research Libraries, one of the Alliance members, has prepared a Resource Packet on Orphan Works.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:23 pm

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