Copyright Cases and Related Litigation
The Scholarly Communication Office provides information to the University community regarding copyright and other information law cases of particular interest to higher education. Case summaries and news briefings are made available on the library website.
Pending copyright cases
Google Books case - In October 2012, the publishers settled their case with Google in October, leaving the Authors Guild as the primary plaintiffs. As of the end of 2012, the class certification of the "authors" class is on appeal to the Second Circuit, which sent the case back to the District Court to consider fair use first, strongly indicating that it thought Google Books was fair use. Google mounted a strong "fair use" defense of its practice of indexing books for search, and the District Court found that Google's Book search index was a highly transformative fair use. The Authors Guild has appealed the case to the Second Circuit as of 2014. Learn more.
Cambridge University Press v. Becker (the Georgia State University "e-reserves" case) - Big victory in 2012 for libraries and universities providing "ereserves". The publishers have appealed this case to the 11th Circuit; oral arguments were held in fall 2013.
Authors Guild v. HathiTrust - Big victory in 2012 and 2014 for the library nonprofit, providing search access to digitized books, replacement copies for libraries, and disability access to books. As of August 2014, the Authors Guild has not yet announced whether it plans to appeal to the Supreme Court, accept the remand to the lower court on standing questions, or try to settle the case.
2013 copyright cases
Kirtsaeng v. Wiley (first sale case) - In 2013, the Supreme Court held that the resale of textbooks purchased overseas, and sold in the US, was protected byt he first sale doctrine.
Harney v. Sony (1st Cir. 2013)
2012 copyright cases
AIME v. UCLA - Video publishers claiming copyright infringement for UCLA's videostreaming service. Case dismissed with prejudice, November, 2012, in a victory for UCLA and its course-related videostreaming service. AIME and UCLA settled. Learn more.
Interested in learning more? Here are some exceptional resources to learn about copyright or other caselaw.
- Summaries of Fair Use Cases, from the Stanford University Libraries
- Major Cases, from the Fair Use Network (includes trademark and coypright cases relating to free expression)
Last Edited: 13 August 2014