Abstract

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The Authors Guild v. Hathitrust: A Way Forward for Digital Access to Neglected
Works in Libraries


James Aaron


Lewis & Clark Law School

2012

Lewis & Clark Law Review, Vol. 16, No. 4, 2012

Abstract:     
Due to changes in copyright law since the United States joined the Berne Convention, a growing number of copyright holders cannot be located. This leads to a market failure in which those who would pay a reasonable licensing fee nevertheless cannot make use of the works. While past literature has focused on desired commercial uses of these so-called orphan works, the recent case of The Authors Guild v. HathiTrust has brought the issue of educational, nonprofit uses of these works to the fore. This Comment begins by describing the HathiTrust Orphan Works Project and what it renames the neglected works problem. Next, it examines the legality of the project under current copyright law, focusing mainly on fair use under section 107, and concludes that it is unclear whether the project violates copyright law. Finally it analyzes whether this result fits the policy goals of copyright, and because it does not, proposes both legislative and judicial changes to copyright law to make it clear that in the proper circumstances, nonprofit, educational uses of neglected works do not violate copyright law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: copyright, libraries, archives, orphan works, neglected works, HathiTrust, Google Books

JEL Classification: K00, K39, O34

working papers series





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Date posted: January 23, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Aaron, James, The Authors Guild v. Hathitrust: A Way Forward for Digital Access to Neglected Works in Libraries (2012). Lewis & Clark Law Review, Vol. 16, No. 4, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2205374 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2205374

Contact Information

James Aaron (Contact Author)
Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )
10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States
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