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LCA Issues Statement on Authors Guild’s Appeal of HathiTrust Decision

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) has issued the following statement regarding the appeal filed yesterday by the Authors Guild in its lawsuit against the HathiTrust and five partner libraries:

We are deeply disappointed by the Authors Guild’s decision to appeal Judge Baer’s landmark opinion acknowledging the legality, and the extraordinary social value, of the HathiTrust Digital Library. Libraries have a moral and a legal obligation to provide the broadest possible access to knowledge for all of our users, and the HathiTrust and its partners have assembled an invaluable digital resource that will ensure for the first time that library print collections can be made available on equitable terms to our print-disabled users. The database also facilitates preservation and cutting-edge scholarship, all with no harm to authors or publishers. As we predicted, Judge Baer did not look kindly on the Guild’s shortsighted and ill-conceived lawsuit, saying, “I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that…would require that I terminate this invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts that at the same time effectuates the ideals espoused by the ADA.” If there is an upside to this misguided appeal, it is that the Second Circuit will now have the opportunity to affirm that powerful insight.

For more information on the HathiTrust case, please visit http://www.arl.org/focus-areas/court-cases/105-authors-guild-v-hathi-trust.

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) consists of three major library associations—the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries. These three associations collectively represent over 300,000 information professionals and thousands of libraries of all kinds throughout the United States and Canada. Find LCA on the web at http://librarycopyrightalliance.org/.