Major Victory for Fair Use

Washington, D.C. –Following this morning’s unanimous ruling from a three-judge federal appeals panel that the Google Books project to digitize millions of books is legal under fair use, the Re:Create Coalition released the following statement:

“This decision scores a major victory for access to knowledge by stating that the creation of a digital library and digitizing records constitutes fair use. The court confirms that the ‘ultimate, primary intended beneficiary [of copyright] is the public, whose access to knowledge copyright seeks to advance…’ — a concept that corresponds with the transformative digital collection’s original purpose to increase public knowledge.

“Since the advent of digital media and books, there have been attempts to prevent libraries from fulfilling their important role in society via digital technologies.  The court holds there is a right to digitize works that libraries provide to a third party and that the libraries can then use those digitized copies in a manner consistent with copyright law. It is a logical decision that sets an important precedent and affirms the important role libraries continue to play in the digital era,” said Tina Pelkey, spokeswoman for Re:Create.

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