The Fair Use Doctrine?

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The Fair Use Doctrine
Case Summary Libraries have been transitioning to the digitalization of literature for preservation and distribution purposes. When a group of libraries gave works to HathiTrust for digital conversion, tension from the owners of the work began to rise. The Authors Guild, an organization that has been supporting writers and their rights since 1912, filed a case against HathiTrust to protect intellectual property. Google formed HathiTrust, an organization that the libraries loaned books to for the purpose of digital scanning and creating metadata files (Ford, 2011).
Converting books to a digital format allows the libraries to circulate digital copies without compensating the owner of the copyright. Consequently,
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The simplified definition of the Fair Use Doctrine is to give the public the right to make reasonable uses of the copyrighted material, while protecting the interests of the copyright owners (Samuelson, 1995). The challenge is how the legal system measures fair use and particularly in this case, transformative use. Judges consider four factors for measuring fair use. The first is the purpose of character of the use. Second is the nature of the copyrighted work. The third is the amount and substantiality of the portion taken. Finally, the fourth is the effect of the use upon the potential market (Stanford, 2015). When HathiTrust a Google company, began digitalizing thousands of books from the public library’s and creating metadata, the copyrighted materials were being duplicated by a for profit company.
Although the company who owns HathiTrust is a for profit company, their intended use and transformation of the material was not with the intent of profit. Yet one might have a hard time believing Google would fund such an endeavor if they did not see an opportunity to make money off the digitalization of the works. From a legal standpoint, a challenge is how the judges measure the portion taken and the effect of the use upon the potential market, particularly when this is the first time of mass digitalization. The Actors Guild lost the case because the courts believed the transformative factor of digitalizing the library books gave the public new
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