Take One: September 19, 2011 (on Google, HathiTrust, and Orphan Works)
You may recall that Cornell, along with Duke, Emory, and Johns Hopkins, signed on to making digital versions of orphan works in HathiTrust (most of which were scanned by Google) available to their respective faculty, students, and staff provided each library owned a physical copy. Within the past week, there have been two legal occurrences that may affect the situation. First, you may have heard that the Authors Guild and others have named Cornell, along with the universities of Michigan, California, Wisconsin, Indiana, and the HathiTrust, in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed on September 12, 2011 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Cornell has not yet been served. Given the substantial amount of interest in this case by the press and others, Simeon Moss in University Communications will be the sole University spokesperson regarding this matter. Please refer all inquiries to Simeon Moss and refrain from offering public comments (written or oral). If you would like more information about the lawsuit, the Association of Research Libraries, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times, and other newspapers and various blogs have provided extensive commentary. Next month, CUL will be represented by Dean Krafft, Oya Reiger, and me at the HathiTrust Constitutional Convention, where no doubt issues focusing on policies, programs, process, and the like will be front and center.
The second lawsuit is one that was filed back in 2005, again involving the Authors Guild as well as various publishers as plaintiffs against Google’s book scanning program. On September 15, Judge Chin again met with the plaintiffs during a status conference. Although a settlement has not been reached, it’s possible the publishers are close, with the Authors Guild less certain of that. The meeting, therefore, focused on setting a schedule on how to proceed with the litigation. Oral arguments in the case have been scheduled for September 6, 2012; Judge Chin may take some time to render a decision; other suits might affect this schedule; so it will be at least another year unless the case is resolved out of court.
Have a healthy and productive week,