Today’s status conference lasted five minutes. The parties requested more time to discuss their options, and Judge Chin agreed, scheduling the next status conference for Tuesday, July 19, at 10:00 AM.
Category Archives: News
Judge Chin just issued an opinion rejecting the proposed settlement. He adopts the position of the United States, writing, “many of the concerns raised in the objections would be ameliorated if the ASA were converted from an ‘opt-out’ settlement to an ‘opt-in’ settlement. I urge the parties to consider revising the ASA accordingly.”
The parties have filed their complete sets of briefs in the HathiTrust case. Oral argument is scheduled for Monday, August 6 at 3:00 PM.
Four more universities have joined the orphan works effort spearheaded by the University of Michigan; they will make books identified as orphans available digitally to their own students, faculty, and affiliates.
Meanwhile, in France, the publisher La Martinière joined Hachette Livre in cutting a voluntary deal with Google for the scanning and sale of its books.
The University of Michigan has been studying which of the digitized books it holds are orphans. That project is described here, including the workflow process:
Note that two different people follow the same workflow for each volume, which is a built-in protection against making errors. We attempt to make contact with the potential copyright holder via two (and sometimes three) different ways. If we make contact with a potential rights holder and they assert that they are still in fact the rights holder for the work, it is not an orphan. If we can not make contact with a potential rights holder or the potential rights holder does not assert that she holds the rights, then only at that time do we consider the work an orphan.
Of special note is the fact that a list of potential orphans will be made available for 90 days before they are opened. If, at any time, a legitimate copyright holder approaches us we will remove their work from our pool of potential orphans (as it is no longer an orphan). In addition, if at any time after a work has been identified as an orphan and made readable to the U-M scholarly community a legitimate copyright holder approaches us, we will remove the copyright holder’s work from the program.
Now, for those books that have passed through this process and been categorized as “orphan,” the University library will make them available to University users and campus visitors:
Access to orphan works will be limited to U-M authenticated users and visitors to the campus libraries in Ann Arbor, and to works that the library holds in its print collection. In other words, the same population that can check out these works from the library’s print collection now will be able to read the digital copies from other locations.
According to John Wilkin, associate university librarian and executive director of HathiTrust, other institutions among the HathiTrust’s more than 50 partners, including the University of Wisconsin, are moving forward with similar plans to share digitized orphan works from their own collections.
Intellectual Asset Management has an update on litigation against Google in France. Google Books, Google Images, and Google Videos have all been targeted in separate lawsuits. The courts have been going every which way in terms of whether to apply French or United States law, and on how to analyze Google’s indexing and search services. The tl;dr version is that in the most recent case, involving Google Videos, the court applied French law and held Google not liable as a “passive” rather than an “active” actor, but that this state of affairs could change in light of pending French legislation.