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Statement on the Resolution of Authors Guild v HathiTrust

January 8, 2015

On January 6, the remaining plaintiffs in Authors Guild v HathiTrust resolved their dispute with HathiTrust institutions1. Judge Naomi Buchwald has now dismissed the remanded issues in the case with prejudice, bringing this case to its conclusion. In resolving this case, the parties have stipulated that the defendants have and will continue to follow the procedures of Section 108(c) of the Copyright Act when making “replacement copies” of copyrighted works.  

During the course of this lawsuit, which began in the fall of 2011, federal courts have cogently and consistently ruled that the services we provide—including full-text search and access for users who have print disabilities—are lawful, non-infringing uses that fall well within the definition of fair use. These rulings have reminded us all that copyright law promotes the progress of knowledge and discovery by balancing the rights of the public and copyright holders. We are sincerely grateful to the many organizations and individuals who have expressed public support for our work, and to each of the universities named as defendants in the suit for their unwavering commitment to the principles at stake.

HathiTrust has always acted with the intention and conviction that our activities are lawful and benefit the public good. Since 2008 our membership has grown to more than 100 libraries, and our collections now include more than 13 million volumes. We have launched major initiatives to promote access to government information, to transform how libraries manage print collections, and to support large-scale computational research on our collections. We now turn our attention full time to these initiatives and others that will continue to transform how libraries collect, manage, preserve, and provide access to the record of human knowledge.


[Download District Court Filing (PDF)]

1. The University of Michigan, Indiana University, the University of California, the University of Wisconsin, and Cornell University.