Authors Guild Gives Up Trying To Sue Libraries For Digitally Scanning Book Collection
from the about-time dept
Back in June we wrote about how the Second Circuit appeals court totally demolished the Authors Guild’s arguments against a bunch of university libraries for scanning their book collections digitally, in order to enable better searching of the contents. The lawsuit was against Hathitrust, an organization set up to manage the book scanning program for a group of university libraries. In 2012, a district court said that what the libraries/Hathitrust were doing was obviously fair use and the appeals court re-enforced that strongly. The Authors Guild is basically giving up in this case, saying that should the libraries change their practices, it may want to revisit the issue. But for now, it’s giving up the case while “reserving” its position.
This is hardly a surprise. However, while it’s given up on the Hathitrust case, the case against Google for basically the same thing is still ongoing. And, yes, it’s so far lost there as well, though that case is on appeal and was just argued recently — including making bizarre references to Aaron Swartz as some sort of proof that if Google scans books, someone may hack them and leak all those books to the world.
We’ll see how the appeals court rules in that case, but if I had to predict, I doubt this one will turn out well for the Authors Guild. Still, it’s likely that the Authors Guild recognizes that if it’s going to take one of these cases to the Supreme Court, it has a better shot against Google directly, rather than a bunch of university libraries…