Librarian to Author: Do not Bring Copyright Action Against Us

As the Authors Guild pursues here in New York its injunctive relief copyright case against the Hathitrust Orphan Works project, it sues, among others, Hathitrust, The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, The Regents of the University of California, The Board Of Regents Of The University Of Wisconsin System, The Trustees Of Indiana University, and Cornell Universit.

We turn our attention to the eloquent letter of Kevin Smith, Duke’s Scholarly Communication Officer to plaintiff author J.R. Salamanca, whose 1958 out of print novel appears to be on the verge of extinction. Mr. Smith writes:

“I am sure I do not have to tell you that libraries, including those that intend to participate in the Hathi Orphan Works project, are not your enemies. We are in the business of helping authors find readers, which hardly seems like it should be an objectionable activity. So let’s think for a minute about The Lost Country and what might be best for it and for you.”

Our friends at TechDirt are less diplomatic: Novelist Joins Lawsuit Against Libraries; Would Apparently Prefer His Book Rot In Obscurity.