District Court Opinion issued in Author's Guild v Hathi Trust: A Win for Libraries and the Public

By Ms. Tracy L. Thompson posted 10-11-2012 09:57

Yesterday, the Southern District of New York issued an opinion in the Hathi Trust copyright case that supports libraries' fair use exception claims under both sections 108 and 107.  According to the Copyright Librarian's Blog Post on the case, these are the high points (from the blog of Nancy Sims, Copyright Program Librarian at the University of Minnesota):
  • The fact that libraries have specific enumerated rights to make certain kinds of copies does not mean that they can't call on fair use to make other kinds of copies. (Section 108 does not limit libraries' section 107 rights.)
  • Providing access for users with disabilities is a valued purpose under fair use.
  • Providing digital copies to make analog works accessible to users with disabilities is transformative use.
  • Making copies of an entire work can be transformative fair use when it is for a transformative purpose, such as making the work searchable.
  • Hathi's activities are fair use.