When Fair Use Wins, Everybody Wins

The case against university partners of HathiTrust is thrown out by a federal judge, who ruled that the availability of scanned books falls within fair use and Americans with Disabilities Act.

U.S. District Judge Harold Baer (NY) threw out the copyright infringement suit filed by Authors Guild against HathiTrust partners University of California, University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, University of Michigan, and my own institution, Indiana University. Most of the materials in HathiTrust are scans originally produced by Google (the Authors Guild suit against Google is currently in appeal; publishers have settled with Google out of court). In addition to a fair use defense, Judge Baer cited the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as HathiTrust gives full-text audible access to the visually impaired.

If you want to read up on the case, there are more links on the Around the Web section of HathiTrust.

HathiTrust by the Numbers (as of October 2012). HathiTrust has 10,546,680 total volumes, 5,550,428 book titles, 274,239 serial titles, 3,691,338,000 pages, 473 terabytes, 125 miles of shelf equivalent, 8,569 tons of print matter equivalent, and 3,230,844 volumes (~31% of total) in the public domain.