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Library Associations File Brief in Defense of Fair Use

Last Updated on April 24, 2012, 3:14 am ET

Last Friday, the Association of Research Libraries, the American Library Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries filed a friend of the court brief to defend the fair use rights of libraries. The brief responds to the Authors Guild’s extraordinary arguments in a lawsuit against the Hathi Trust and several member libraries. The brief demonstrates that if the Authors Guild were to win the day, libraries would be severely curtailed in their ordinary activities, including lending books and providing Internet access to the public.

The Authors Guild has brought a suit against the Hathi Trust and several of its member institutions claiming that these groups violate copyright by accepting, archiving, and making accessible thousands of digitized volumes created by Google in connection with the Google Books project. The libraries have responded that the project is protected by both the fair use doctrine and parts of the specific exception for libraries in Section 108 of the Copyright Act.