The Authors Guild has lost its appeal in a case against digital book scanning service HathiTrust. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2012 verdict that HathiTrust is allowed to provide digital access to books and a full text search database, determining the action fair use.
Publishers Weekly has more: “In its decision Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit upheld Baer’s fair use analysis, holding that the scanning of entire works for the purpose of creating a full‐text searchable database is “a quintessentially transformative use.” The court also held that scanning entire works—and, indeed creating multiple copies of those works—was also permissible.”
The American Library Association (ALA) supported the decision. The Second Circuit today affirmed more than a lower court decision—it affirmed that the fair use of copyrighted material by libraries for the public is essential to copyright law,” stated Barbara Stripling, president of the ALA. “ALA is pleased that the court recognizes the tremendous value of libraries in securing the massive record of human knowledge on behalf of the general public and in providing lawful access to works for research, educational, and learning purposes, including access for people with disabilities.”