Authors Guild Sues Universities For Amassing Digital Book Library

Authors who believe they are being ripped off by institutions of higher learning are taking four universities to court for scanning about 7 million copyright-protected books into a digital library, allowing students and faculty to download out-of-print work.

The AP reports the lawsuit — filed by authors groups in the United States and two other countries — names the University of California, Cornell University, Indiana University, the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin.

At issue is HathiTrust, a repository administered by U-M and IU. The authors say Google has digitized the books for the repository, and want to stop the planned release — to students and faculty — of some of the books over the coming months, impound the files in question and collect damages.

The dean of libraries at U-M counters that the university is surprised by the lawsuit because it’s been in discussions with the Authors Guild over the matter, and says everything the university has done with the books and plans on doing with them is lawful.

Authors Guild sues universities over online books [AP via Yahoo]