Libraries rethink digitization effort after authors sue

September 23, 2011

September 23, 2011. The University of Michigan suspended its orphan works digitization project in response to the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against it and four other universities, including Cornell.

The lawsuit, filed Sept. 12, claims that Google and the five universities — Cornell, the University of Michigan, Indiana University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of California — have digitized about seven million books illegally. The majority of the contested texts are known as “orphan works” — books that are still subject to copyright but whose copyright holders are unknown or cannot be located.

Industry News