Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media & Sport Group Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

The copyright infringement suit filed in New York alleges “widespread and unauthorized reproduction and distribution of millions of copyright books” by five universities and the HathiTrust through cooperation agreements entered into with Google Inc.
The copyright infringement suit filed on 12 September 2011 by the Authors Guild, two international writers groups and eight authors, alleges that the universities and HathiTrust (a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries) are violating copyrights by scanning, duplicating and distributing their books. The plaintiffs are particularly concerned by the plan by HathiTrust to make available a small number of ‘orphan works’, where no author or publisher can be located.

The copyright infringement suit filed in New York alleges “widespread and unauthorized reproduction and distribution of millions of copyright books” by five universities and the HathiTrust through cooperation agreements entered into with Google Inc.

The copyright infringement suit filed on 12 September 2011 by the Authors Guild, two international writers groups and eight authors, alleges that the universities and HathiTrust (a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries) are violating copyrights by scanning, duplicating and distributing their books. The plaintiffs are particularly concerned by the plan by HathiTrust to make available a small number of ‘orphan works’, where no author or publisher can be located.

The lawsuit alleges that, “in deciding to proceed with the HathiTrust Orphan Works Project, the Universities have taken copyright law into their own hands”, warning that, “the Universities are engaging in one of the largest copyright infringements in history”.

 
The suit seeks three injunctions, barring the universities from:
future digitisation of copyright works without authorisation;
providing copyright works to Google for its project without authorisation; and
proceeding with the HathiTrust Orphans Work Project, including making available any so-called ‘orphan’ work protected by copyright.
Only days after filing the lawsuit the Guild announced they had found the author of a so-called “orphan work” via a simple Google search.

 

The lawsuit alleges that, “in deciding to proceed with the HathiTrust Orphan Works Project, the Universities have taken copyright law into their own hands”, warning that, “the Universities are engaging in one of the largest copyright infringements in history”.

The suit seeks three injunctions, barring the universities from:

  • future digitisation of copyright works without authorisation;
  • providing copyright works to Google for its project without authorisation; and
  • proceeding with the HathiTrust Orphans Work Project, including making available any so-called ‘orphan’ work protected by copyright.

Only days after filing the lawsuit the Guild announced they had found the author of a so-called “orphan work” via a simple Google search.