Friday, October 23, 2015

Thanks to a landmark ruling, information just got a little more free; Atlantic, 10/20/15

Robinson Meyer, Atlantic; After 10 Years, Google Books Is Legal: Thanks to a landmark ruling, information just got a little more free:
"In other words, Google Books is legal.
And not only that, but the case is likely resolved for good. In 2012, a district court ruled that Hathitrust, a university consortium that used Google Books’s scans to make books accessible to blind students, was not only a legal form of fair use but also required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Experts say that the Supreme Court is unlikely to hear an appeal, because so many district court judges, and two different federal circuits, have found themselves so broadly in agreement about the nature of transformative use online.
“The Authors Guild is deluding itself to think that this is an area that is open and controversial in the view of the lower courts,” Grimmelmann said.
This isn’t only good news for fans of Google Books. It helps makes the legal boundaries of fair use clear to other organizations who may try to take advantage of it, including libraries and non-profits.
“It gives us a better senses of where fair use lies,” says Dan Cohen, the executive director of the Digital Public Library of America. They “give a firmer foundation and certainty for non-profits.”"

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