Hot Topics—HathiTrust Edition
For the first time since 1919, we will see a full moon tonight on Friday, June 13th. Whether your interest is superstitious or merely astronomical, you may want to step outside tonight to view the lovely “Honey Moon.” Just be on the lookout for active animal life.
Our hottest topic this week by far is the ruling on HathiTrust v. Authors Guild. We all have a lot of reading to keep up with, so in case this one has slipped through the cracks, here are some sources for getting up to speed.
You can read the ALA news blurb here, including President Barbara Stripling’s glowing statement. In a nutshell, the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals maintained the original ruling in the case, in which actions taken by HathiTrust institutes (providing public-facing full-text searching of works digitized by member libraries and institutions and allowing access for those with print disabilities) were proven to be protected by fair use. Kudos to ALA for their support of HathiTrust and their constant championing for fair use. More facts can be found from the ALA Washington Office blog.
Inside Higher Ed provides a brief history on the case, and classifies this ruling as yet another victory in the recent fair use “winning streak” libraries and other institutions have been celebrating as of late. Hopefully these court cases in which copyright law and fair use are upheld will become commonplace moving forward, and will serve as an educational precedent for those who challenge fair access to information.
If you want a bit of heavier reading, you can access the full court ruling here.