The HathiTrust is a digital repository housed at the University of Michigan, which holds millions of digitized library works from the collections of supporting insitutions including University of Michigan, University of California, Cornell, University of Wisconsin and Indiana University. The works were largely digitized by Google through its Google Library Partner Program. The Author's Guild and others sued the supporting institutions of the HathiTrust claiming massive copyright infringement. In its ruling, the Southern District of New York found the following: 1) it is both a fair use and in support of Section 121 of the Copyright Act to provide digital works to print-disabled users; 2) indexing for searching purposes is a transformative fair use; and 3) Section 108 of the Copyright Act does not limit libraries' reliance on fair use: "fair use does not undermine Section 108, but rather supplements it." This decision supports research and education by upholding the transformative use of technology to provide better access to information. The plaintiffs may appeal the decision to the Second Circuit. The full opinion is available at

Last modified Fri, 12 Oct, 2012 at 10:40