MLibrary In the News Archives

HathiTrust update on copyright

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm happy to see the all-to-rare acknowledgement of other jurisdictions' copyright rules from June's Hathi Trust update :

New Copyright Status (IC-US)

Michigan staff completed the majority of development necessary to support a new rights status in HathiTrust Web applications. The status will apply to works that were restored to being in copyright in the United States by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), but are now in the public domain in the rest of the world. An increasing number of these volumes are being identified as part of CRMS-World, the IMLS-funded continuation of the CRMS project.

Libraries Get Backing Battle Over Book Digitization

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Kansas City infoZine

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined several national library associations in urging a federal court to find that the fair use doctrine permitted the creation of a valuable digital library.


HathiTrust Better Than Google for Full-Text Access to Federal Gov Docs

Friday, July 6, 2012
Law Librarian Blog

Quoting from the conclusion of A Comparison of HathiTrust and Google Books Using Federal Publications by Laura Sare (Texas A&M), 2 Practical Academic Librarianship 1, 21-22 (2012):


Since most users want access to full-text, HathiTrust offers the best database for finding government documents after 1923. Users concerned with privacy issues may prefer HathiTrust or want to use Google Books while logged out of their Google account. Those familiar with the Google eBookstore or who want the added functionality of data visualization to read and provide reviews may prefer Google Books. Regarding record overlap, HathiTrust had a greater percentage of publication records also available in Google Books, but with fewer records overall, while Google Books had records for more government documents than HathiTrust, and therefore a smaller overlap range. These results show that if a user cannot find a federal document in HathiTrust, Google Books might have a “Snippet” view record for that document and that record may provide more information for users to determine if the document is one that would be useful to them. However, caution is also advised for Google Books’ records, as metadata mistakes on the full-text and “Snippet” view records should be taken into account by librarians and users alike.

Free Government Information highlights the reasons for this conclusion at Comparing Hathitrust and Google Books as repositories of government documents. [JH]

HathiTrust, Authors Guild File Motions for Summary Judgment in Digitization Battle

Friday, July 6, 2012
Publishers Weekly

The battle lines are drawn, or should we say, more battle lines are now drawn. On June 29, the parties in the Authors Guild vs. HathiTrust filed motions for summary judgment, with the Authors Guild asserting that it should win because the library defendants have no viable defense for their mass-digitization program, while the HathiTrust argues that it should win because its program clearly falls under fair use. A third motion was also filed, in support of the HathiTrust, by the National Federation of the Blind.


HathiTrust Summary Judgment Motions: Section 108

Friday, July 6, 2012
The Laboratorium

On Friday, the parties filed their motions for summary judgment in the HathiTrust case, along with thousands of pages of supporting documents. I’m still making my way through the filings. The heavy redactions make it easier: there’s one document consisting entirely of five pages of solid black, save only the cryptic document number UM004282. Even its title is redacted. But there are still piles of depositions and interrogatories to get through. It doesn’t help that the Public Index is being gradually nursed back to health from a bad malware infection, so I’ve been unable to post the documents there yet, either.

I thought, however, that I would summarize the arguments in the briefs themselves, to give readers a sense of how the case is developing. There are three briefs in: the Authors Guild (and other authors and groups) on the plaintiff side, and HathiTrust and theNational Federation of the Blind (and individual blind students) on the defendant side. Interestingly, the three briefs take on slightly different issues. Today, I’ll discuss the prima facie case of infringement and Section 108; fair use will follow later in the week.


What’s the Impact of the GSU E-Reserve Decision? ALA Panel Says None...Yet

Sunday, June 24, 2012
Publishers Weekly


Smith made his remarks at a standing-room only, two-hour panel discussion on copyright and fair use. He was joined by USC law professor Jack Lerner and enterntainment attorney with firm Donaldson & Callif, Dean Cheley. The panel discussed four cases and their potential impact: the GSU case, Authors Guild vs. Google, Authors Guild vs. HathiTrust, and a recently decided streaming video case, AIME vs. UCLA. Lerner largely devoted his remarks to the orphan works issue, while Cheley spoke of the growing embrace of fair use in documentary film, offering three simple effective rules for using video clips in documentary work: first, is there a point to using the clip; second, are you using just enough of the work to make that point; and three, is that point obvious to the audience?


Michael Smallegan: Access denied

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Michigan Daily

I’ve researched and written too many papers during my time here, yet have only been to the library once to actually get my hands on some physical reference material. Once. This isn’t because the library system isn’t useful; in fact, it's the opposite. The University of Michigan library system is doing everything right. Only once was a resource, in all those Mirlyn searches, not available electronically. The University’s library system is leading the way in the digital revolution, yet all of this forward momentum is threatened ... and nobody is talking about it.


HathiTrust, Library Associations Dispute Author’s Guild Motion

Monday, April 30, 2012
Library Journal

On April 20 the Hathi Trust filed a motion opposing the Author’s Guild’s latest move in the ongoing lawsuit between the two, in which the Guild filed for partial judgment on the pleadings on February 28.


The Trust said the Guild’s argument defied common sense as well as Congressional intent in denying that libraries, like anyone else, can mount a fair use defense to an allegation of copyright infringement as well as one based on Section 108. The Trust also argued that the Guild has not shown that there is no issue of fact or law for the court to decide, which is the standard for partial judgment on the pleadings.


Guild Motion Asks for Quick Ruling on HathiTrust’s Fair Use Defense

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Publishers Weekly
Although the Google Book Settlement has been rejected by the court, one reason the parties were even able to reach an agreement was by avoiding the question of whether Google’s scanning of copyrighted books was a violation of fair use. The issue came up late last year when the Authors Guild led a group of copyright holders in filing a lawsuit against HathiTrust contending that its scanning program in which Google has converted millions of books into digital files stored by the Trust was copyright infringement. Now the Guild is placing the question of fair use front and center in a motion filed February 28 that asks the judge hearing the case to issue a “partial judgment on the pleadings,” and rule that the unauthorized digitization is in fact not protected by fair use.
According to the Guild, they are filing the motion because the group of university libraries and the HathiTrust “not only concede that they have engaged in the mass book digitization project at issue, but admit to acts that Congress has expressly prohibited under Section 108 of the Copyright Act.” The motion asks Judge Baer to order that the “Defendants’ admitted systematic reproduction, distribution, and use of millions of copyright-protected books are not shielded by the First Amendment, the fair use defense, or any other provision of the Copyright Act.”

Harvard Library to Deposit Additional Volumes in HathiTrust

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Harvard University Library News

March 6, 2012—The Harvard Library will deposit approximately 200,000 public domain volumes in HathiTrust, a shared digital repository for published materials. This follows Harvard's first deposit of approximately 53,000 volumes in HathiTrust in 2011.

“The Harvard Library is committed to collaboration and easing access to its materials. Partnerships like this create significant opportunities for research libraries to lead during a period of rapid changes in higher education and scholarship in the digital age, and for researchers to benefit from their initiative” said Mary Lee Kennedy, Harvard’s senior associate provost for the Library.

“The inclusion of these volumes from Harvard Library’s extraordinary and diverse collection will certainly enrich our public domain holdings,” says John Wilkin, executive director of HathiTrust. “And this benefits our partner communities as well as scholars everywhere, as anyone with an Internet connection will be able to read these works.”

New training resources addres civility and bias in the workplace

Monday, February 13, 2012
American Libraries Magazine

CHICAGO - Two new training resources addressing civility and bias in the workplace are now available from the ALA Office for Diversity. 

Developed by the ALA Office for Diversity and the ALA Committee on Diversity, these training cards feature strategies for increasing civility and combating bias to help foster diversity in the profession.  Each card helps define the topic, its effect on the workplace and strategies for addressing the issue.  The cards are designed to be used as conversation starters, for one-on-one coaching or in professional development programs. 

The issues of civility and unconscious bias in the workplace come up again and again in conversations with librarians from across the profession,” said Alexandra Rivera, associate librarian at the University of Michigan Library and chair of the Committee on Diversity.  “It’s difficult to find training materials that address these issues from a library perspective and that can be easily introduced into different situations.  We hope that these cards will help shed light on these important issues and stimulate discussions in libraries.”

HathiTrust Libraries Map a Shared Path:

Monday, January 16, 2012
Project Muse


What became HathiTrust started in late 2006 as a proposal from the University of Michigan to its sister libraries in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), to operate a shared digital repository to archive the large files that would be generated as the CIC libraries contracted with Google to digitize portions of their book collections. Nobody wanted to see a wasteful duplication of server architecture to store all those files. Over the course of the following year the preliminary functional objectives, collaborative principles, and the business and legal models were refined. By June 2008, when the name HathiTrust was coined, the repository already held the digital files for more than one million volumes; in October of that year, the University of California system joined forces with the CIC and all of a sudden it looked like this enterprise was going to have real legs. Paul Courant and John Price Wilkin at the University of Michigan deserve special credit for their vision and initiative, the University of Indiana for quickly partnering to architect a mirror site, and all of the CIC library directors for reorienting their thinking quickly from supporting a straightforward digital preservation archive to a dynamic multi-functional platform that would soon occupy a unique niche in the information landscape.

University of Michigan eyes e-books as a way to lower soaring textbook costs

Monday, January 9, 2012

The University of Michigan is considering widely embracing electronic textbooks in the coming years.

But how cost effective will a move toward the 21st century version of the classic textbook be?

U-M librarian Paul Courant estimates that a typical e-book costs between 20 and 30 percent less than its printed counterparts. But he says it's possible to lower costs further.

At a Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs meeting in late November, Courant said that if the university can create partnerships with textbook publishers, the school could possibly negotiate low, bulk prices and make e-books available to students as part of a course fee.

"What will happen if we don’t do anything about it?" Courant asked of soaring textbook costs during the November meeting. "The publishers and the booksellers will get very good at selling to our students. Electronic textbooks... will be somewhat cheaper, in the range of 80 to 70 percent of the cost, rather than a real breakthrough."

HathiTrust Defendants Respond to Authors Guild Lawsuit

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Chronicle of Higher Education

The HathiTrust digital repository and the five universities sued by the Authors Guild and others over mass book digitization and alleged copyright infringement have filed a response to the lawsuit. In September the plaintiffs sued the trust and its home institution, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, as well as Cornell and Indiana Universities and the Universities of California and of Wisconsin, in federal district court in New York City.

HathiTrust Answers Authors Guild Lawsuit; Trial Schedule Set

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Publishers Weekly

Lawyers for the HathiTrust, the digitization initiative of some 40 university libraries, filed its answer to the Authors Guild lawsuit, asking the suit be dismissed for a variety of reasons and suggests it possible defenses. Meanwhile, just before Thanksgiving, the court issued a trial schedule. If the case is not dismissed or otherwise settled, discovery is set to wrap up on May 20, 2012, with  a trial set for November.


Electronic textbooks? U-M students may have lighter backpacks starting next fall

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The University of Michigan wants to move the majority of its introductory courses to electronic textbooks.

“The big, slick, pricey textbooks that get used in courses that draw hundreds and thousands of freshmen: There’s a huge profit being made there,” U-M Dean of Libraries Paul Courant told the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs on Monday. “Candidly, we want to go after those profits on behalf of our students.”

U-M is in the midst of negotiations with publishers and will begin an e-book pilot program in the fall.

Photo exhibit offers rare look at hidden heroism in World War II

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Defiance gets a very special face in the University of Michigan Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery’s “Pictures of Resistance: The Wartime Photographs of Faye Schulman.”

25 black-and-white photographs taken in the early 1940s by Polish partisan Faye Schulman, “Pictures of Resistance” is an astoundingly brave portrait in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Schulman’s work—the only photographs to emerge from this underreported theater of World War II—is graphic and confessional, as well as a firsthand look at what life was like in Eastern Europe during this mid-20th century period of infamous barbarity.