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Heads Up! What does the HathiTrust decision mean for libraries?

Jonathan Band, legal counsel for the Library Copyright Alliance (of which ALA is a member), prepared a document [pdf] detailing how the HathiTrust decision affects libraries interested in mass digitization project. The document primarily focuses on academic libraries, but there are nuggets for any non-profit library conducting mass digitization.

Now we wait for the decision that will be made in the Authors Guild v. Google [pdf] decision, on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The key difference between the two cases is that Google displays snippets of the books searched to provide context for the user. Google no longer collects advertising revenue from database, so currently, it seems that the company’s for-profit status will not make as much of a difference between the two cases. But you never know…

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Carrie Russell

Carrie Russell is the Director of the Program on Public Access to Information in the Office for Information Technology Policy. Her portfolio includes copyright, international copyright, accessibility, e-books and other public policy issues. She has a MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a MA in media arts from the University of Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at

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