QuickWire: Authors Guild Responds to HathiTrust Ruling

A federal appeals court on Tuesday largely upheld a district court’s ruling in favor of the HathiTrust Digital Library in a copyright-infringement lawsuit brought against it by the Authors Guild.

On Wednesday the guild released a statement in response to the ruling, calling it a “narrow fair-use decision” that “was not a total victory for either side.” The group did not say what its next legal move might be or whether it had decided to mount another appeal.

That could depend in part on the next developments in another high-profile lawsuit, also brought by the guild, over Google’s mass scanning of books. In April the authors’ group appealed a district-court judge’s 2013 ruling that Google’s book digitizing constituted fair use.

“The related case against Google will come before the court next,” the guild said in Wednesday’s statement. “We continue to believe that it is fundamentally unfair for Google to make use of the entire text of copyrighted books for its own commercial purposes without any compensation to authors.”

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