March 23, 2011
Libraries are not leaving the future of digital books to Google. In light of Judge Chin’s rejection of the Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement, Authors Guild et al. v. Google, HathiTrust will maintain our commitment to long-term digital preservation of library collections curated by generations of librarians at great research libraries around the world. Our stated mission: “to contribute to the public good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge.”
HathiTrust’s ability to fulfill our mission is and has been independent of approval of the Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement. The benefits we envision—improved discovery and full text search of our vast collections, services for users who have print disabilities, computational research, and broad public availability of works that are out of copyright or otherwise released by their copyright owners—are being realized and will continue to expand.
Given this ruling, the HathiTrust partners will continue providing comprehensive full-text search of the repository and uses of in-copyright materials that fall under sections 107 and 108 of U.S. copyright law: access for users who have print disabilities, and lawful uses of digital copies of materials that are damaged, deteriorating, lost or stolen, and not available at a reasonable market price. In addition, we will continue to pursue our extensive review of works published in the United States from 1923 to 1963, providing access to works that did not comply with copyright formalities of the time, and our work with authors and publishers who wish to open access to their works in HathiTrust. We will continue to strive to provide as much access as legally possible to materials in the repository, for discovery, reading, and computational research. We hope that the rejection of the Settlement will lead immediately to meaningful progress towards orphan works legislation.
HathiTrust (http://www.hathitrust.org) is an international partnership of 52 academic and research libraries. The digital repository launched by the partners in 2008 contains more than 8.4 million volumes, including nearly 2.2 million works that are in the public domain and viewable on the Web.
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