As first reported by Timothy B. Lee of Ars Technica, on October 10, 2012, a district court judge handed down a decision in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust. Hathitrust is a long-running copyright infringement case concerning a shared digital repository based at the Univerity of Michigan.
The case is related to the actions brought against Google over the company’s Books Library project, on which we have reported here and here. The Michigan university library together with a number of other universities formed a repository called the HathiTrust Digital Library (HDL), which contains digital copies of books scanned by Google as part of the Books Library project. The HDL uses the files for three purposes: a full-text search, preservation, and access for disabled people who cannot read printed copies of the books. The full-text search is a technology which allows users to search for particular terms across all the works stored in the HDL without revealing any in-copyright material.