The Authors Guild announced today that it had filed a lawsuit against the HathiTrust and five of its members, including the Universities of Michigan and California. The suit challenges the libraries’ use of the scans they have received from Google:
The universities obtained from Google unauthorized scans of an estimated 7 million copyright-protected books, the rights to which are held by authors in dozens of countries. The universities have pooled the unauthorized files in a repository organized by the University of Michigan called HathiTrust. In June, Michigan announced plans to permit unlimited downloads by its students and faculty members of copyright-protected works it deems “orphans” according to rules the school has established. Other universities joined in Michigan’s project in August.
The first set of so-called orphans, 27 works by French, Russian, and American authors, are scheduled to be released to an estimated 250,000 students and faculty members on October 13th. An additional 140 books, including works in Spanish, Yiddish, French, and Russian, are to be released starting in November.
The complaint seeks a declaration that the scanning and display of the works is illegal, and an injunction requiring the universities to stop.