National Federation of the Blind Applauds Ruling in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust
Ruling is Victory for the Blind and Print Disabled
Baltimore, Maryland (June 10, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for access by the blind to published works, today applauded the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case of Authors Guild, Inc., et al v. HathiTrust, et al.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The court today ruled clearly and unambiguously that libraries may provide full digital access to the books in their collections to patrons who are blind or print disabled, and that providing such access is a fair use of copyrighted works under our nation’s copyright laws. Among other things, the ruling means that libraries need not rely on the provisions of copyright law relating specifically to access by the disabled in order to provide access to their collections for print-disabled readers. This ruling will dramatically improve the lives of blind and print-disabled Americans, allowing us access to the millions of books held by the HathiTrust Digital Library and any similar collections created in the future. The decision is a victory for the blind and print disabled, the significance of which cannot be overstated. The court’s historic action hastens the day when the blind and others with print disabilities will have full access to all of the world’s written knowledge.”