Again with the “orphan” works

So, back in middish-September, Teh Intertubes (and we here in this blog entry, too) had a talk about a buncha university libraries calling themselves HathiTrust, which had just sort of decided that copyright was really inconvenient, and digitized a hundred or so books that, in the sole opinion of HathiTrust were “orphaned.”  The Authors Guild pretty quickly filed a lawsuit against the trust, and took a lot of heat out there on Teh Intertubes (we here were polite, though we did not always agree)  for Being Mean to libraries.  Words like “anti-intellectual,” and “anti-education” were tossed about, with a fair number of folk sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling laLAlaLALA at the top of their typing speed.

So, the libraries maintained that they had used “due diligence” in searching for the rights holders of the books they coveted, and the Authors Guild said, If you used due diligence how could you have  missed finding this guy who we found in a four-second Google Search, and he’s plenty mad at you for digitizing his book without asking — or paying?

Well…it turns out that the libraries, being, yanno academic libraries, Just Naturally Assumed that the rights holders would be. . .

drum roll, please

. . .the publishers.

*bangs head on desk*

Read all about it, and more.

One thought on “Again with the “orphan” works”

  1. And yet, even assuming the publishers would be the rights holders, they completely failed to notice that at least two of the books they decided were “orphaned” were STILL IN PRINT.

    I haven’t had the chance to look into the details of the lawsuit, but I’m surprised that I haven’t heard anything about the particular rights holders filing a Cease and Desist order to prevent further distribution of digitized works by the HathiTrust.

    I find it interesting that when you steal one person’s property and give it away to everyone and their brother, it is called “Piracy”, but when you do it to hundreds of folks all at once it is “an educational opportunity”.


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