Category Archives: Uncategorized

Authors Guild Sues HathiTrust and Five Member Universities


By [Monday, September 12th, 2011] at 6:53 pm

Authors Guild Sues HathiTrust and Five Member Universities

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.

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Next Status Conference in September


By [Thursday, July 28th, 2011] at 12:01 pm

Next Status Conference in September

At the July 19 status conference, the parties said that they were negotiating towards an “opt-in” settlement. Judge Chin gave them an additional extension, until but suggested that if they did not report an agrement in principle by then, he would put the case on a fast pace towards trial. The next status conference will be September 15, at 11:00 AM.

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Wal-Mart and Google Books


By [Thursday, July 28th, 2011] at 12:05 pm

Wal-Mart and Google Books

What do Wal-Mart and Google Books have in common, beyond their immensity? This is the question raised by a new letter sent to the court by Robert Kunstadt and Ilaria Maggioni, who direct the court’s attention to the recent Supreme Court decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, which rejected a class of female employees of Wal-Mart. Because the employees were challenging Wal-Mart’s policy not to have a uniform policy on promotion decisions, the Court held, their claims weren’t sufficiently “common” to support a class action. Kunstadt and Maggioni argue that the class in Google Books is similar: not even suitable for litigation because the fair use issues affecting each author and book will be too dissimilar to be resolved in a single suit.

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