Authors Guild sues universities over online books

From staff and wire reports
September 13th, 2011

The authors said books from nearly every nation have been digitized, including thousands of works published in 2001.

Authors and authors’ groups in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom sued the University of Michigan and four other universities Sept. 12, seeking to stop the creation of online libraries made up of as many as 7 million copyright-protected books they say were scanned without authorization.

The Authors Guild, the Australian Society of Authors and the Union Des Ecrivaines et des Ecrivains Quebecois, or UNEQ, joined eight individual authors to file the copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against Michigan, the University of California, the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and Cornell University.

The lawsuit accuses the University of Michigan of creating a repository known as HathiTrust where unlimited downloads could be accessed by students and faculty members of so-called orphan works, which are out-of-print books whose writers could not be located.

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