Plenty of folks are writing about the Authors Guild’s suit against HathiTrust (actually, against 5 universities who agreed to make orphan works available to their communities via HathiTrust). Below are my picks for the most informative, interesting and/or provocative so far, in roughly chronological order:
- On September 1, 2011, 11 days before the Authors Guild files suit, Duke copyright expert, Kevin Smith makes a prescient fair-use argument on behalf of libraries providing access to orphan works via HathiTrust.
- The Authors Guild blog announcement, posted September 12, 2011: Authors Guild, Australian Society of Authors, Quebec Writers Union Sue Five U.S. Universities
- Excellent summary and analysis from New York Law School Associate Professor James Grimmelmann
- Another excellent summary, this time from Jennifer Howard at CHE, complete with quotes from Paul Courant (of “elfin whimsy” fame) and John Wilkin.
- An open letter to author Judy Blume (VP of the Authors Guild), titled Say it ain’t so Superfudge, captures many librarians disappointment with the Authors Guild approach:
…now you say that you don’t trust the same librarians who dutifully preserved these books for decades to make a fair and honest determination of orphan work status? I understand that you believe that Google crossed the line, but the HathiTrust is not Google. Libraries are not Google.
- After the Authors Guild gleefully announces that they Found One! (One = an orphan author), Grimmelmann declares HathiTrust Single-Handedly Sinks Orphan Works Reform
- Kevin Smith again, this time answering the question Is it all about the Orphans with “…I think this is the next attempt by the content industries to sell what they do not own on behalf of parties they cannot identify, and then keep the money.”