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Home / Case Digests / Second Circuit — Copyright Infringement: Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust

Second Circuit — Copyright Infringement: Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit 

Copyright Infringement

Electronic Database — Full-text Searches

Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust
Judges Walker, Cabranes and Parker

Background: The plaintiff-appellant appealed from a judgment dismissing their copyright infringement claims. Several research universities agreed to allow Google to electronically scan the books in their collections. Thirteen universities planned to create a repository for the digital copies and founded the defendant nonprofit to operate a digital library. The plaintiffs are authors and sought injunctive relief on the grounds of copyright infringement.

Ruling: The Second Circuit held that the doctrine of fair use allows the defendants to create a full-text searchable database of copyrighted works and to provide those works in formats accessible to those with disabilities.

Edward H. Rosenthal of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz for the plaintiffs-appellants; Joseph Petersen of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton for the defendants-appellees; Daniel F. Goldstein of Brown Goldstein & Levy for the intervenor defendants-appellees