RLI 285  4 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2015 research databases and making the briefs available to database subscribers violated the copyrights of the briefs’ authors, including White. The court disagreed, citing the value added by Lexis and West as well as the publishers’ novel purposes relative to the briefs’ authors. The court’s finding regarding the fair use import of adding value to digital documents may be the most interesting one for libraries considering digitizing and indexing collections materials: “West and Lexis’s processes of reviewing, selecting, converting, coding, linking, and identifying the documents ‘add[ ] something new, with a further purpose or different character’ than the original briefs.”10 The internal quotation is from Campbell v. Acuff- Rose, the most recent Supreme Court opinion on the scope of fair use. A pair of additional cases involving lawyers, this time as the defendants, provides another example of novel purposes and favored public policy playing a decisive role in fair use decision-making.11 Both cases involve law firms copying the full text of scientific articles in the process of researching, filing, and prosecuting patent applications. The government requires that patent applicants include such articles, known as non-patent literature (NPL), as evidence regarding the originality and novelty of their inventions. Patent law firms file copies of NPL with the US Patent and Trademark Office and retain copies for their clients’ files. Citing an earlier case finding Texaco scientists infringed copyright by copying journal articles for their research,12 scientific publishers demanded that the law firms pay a license to copy NPL. The courts disagreed, finding that using the articles as evidence in a patent proceeding is a transformative use different from the articles’ intended use of providing scientists in the field with the latest developments. The Texaco case has been widely cited for the proposition that where there is a ready licensing market (in that case, a market operated by the Copyright Clearance Center), all users must pay a license to photocopy. These two recent cases show that a sufficiently novel purpose will trump the presence of such a market. Last, but certainly not least, the Second Circuit’s opinion in the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust13 case sheds more light on when full-text copying and distribution will be considered fair. In HathiTrust, the court found that a group of universities were protected by fair use when they digitized millions of in-copyright books in order to create a digital search tool that would help scholars locate books and conduct new modes of text-mining research across the corpus. The court also found that it was fair use to provide robust digital versions of books (including both text and images) to print-disabled library users, citing the strong public policy favoring equal access as well as the near-total failure of the market to serve print- disabled readers. Finally, although the court did not render an opinion regarding use of the database to provide replacement copies as a preservation measure, it seemed to endorse the practice of retaining digitized copies in redundant databases to ensure the works’ continued availability long after the expiration of their copyright term. Here are some key takeaways for research libraries from these six cases: 1. Making entire, unaltered works available for reading may be found fair where the user’s purpose differs sufficiently from the original purpose of the work, and the amount taken is justified by that novel purpose. In all but one case (Cariou) an original, unaltered work was published to a particular
Previous Page Next Page