Copyright Holders Appeal Mass-Digitization Decision

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The plaintiff copyright holders in a recently dismissed class action infringement lawsuit against a group of group of universities using Google-provided electronic copies of books to create a database for searching, archiving, and providing accessibility to the blind filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Nov. 8 (Authors Guild Inc. v. HathiTrust, 2d Cir., No. 1:11-cv-06351-HB, notice of appeal filed 11/8/12).

The plaintiffs--a group of authors' and other rights holders' associations--were dealt a surprising blow to their infringement claims Oct. 10 when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York determined that many of them lacked standing to bring infringement claims on behalf of their members (197 PTD, 10/12/12).

The district court granted judgment on the pleadings against some of the associations, but it said that foreign associations might have standing, if such standing is provided for under their home countries' laws. Nonetheless, the appeal states that it is on behalf of “all of the Plaintiffs” in the action.

The district court also ruled that the Copyright Act's fair use doctrine, 17 U.S.C. § 107, protected HathiTrust's actions.

Opinion at