Favorable Ruling in HathiTrust Fair-Use Case a Big Win for CIC Universities

Oct 11, 2012

Hathi Trust Lobo

As a founding member of HathiTrust, a digital repository that provides secure access to an online library containing digitized versions of legacy print collections, the CIC welcomes the recent ruling in the fair-use suit as good news for libraries, scholars and students.

CIC libraries and universities have made substantial investments in HathiTrust to ensure the long-term preservation of scholarly contributions; to make the content of books and journals more discoverable; to open up library content to students and others with print disabilities; and to ensure the continued relevance of the book culture in an increasingly digital age.  

As Director of CIC's Center for Library Initiative's Mark Sandler put it, "We believe as strongly as any ad hoc trade group in the social value of the body of scholarly work stewarded by our libraries, and the credit that is due to its creators. Contrary to the claims of the Author’s Guild, HathiTrust is really a testament of the profound respect our campuses have for intellectual property, the rights of authors, and the significance of their work.  I’m pleased to see that the court reaffirmed in the strongest terms the fair-use doctrine that is so critical to academic discourse. Our thanks to the University of Michigan, Indiana University, et al., for their principled defense in this case, and for universities nationally that filed briefs in support of HathiTrust. Scholarship at all levels was advanced as a result of this decision." 

For more on the ruling, please visit The Chronicle of Higher Education's Judge Hands HathiTrust Digital Repository a Win in Fair-Use Case and Inside Higher Education's 'Fair Use' Applies to Book Digitizing Work, Judge Rules.

Updated: Video of HathiTrust's Paul Courant discussing ruling.

  • Library Initiatives