NEW YORK (Reuters) – Universities and research libraries that created a searchable online database for millions of books did not violate copyright protections belonging to authors whose works were scanned, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Tuesday. Rejecting an appeal by authors’ groups, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the HathiTrust Digital Library, which began in 2008 and has scanned more than 10 million works, constituted a "fair use" of copyrighted works. The library has 80 member institutions including Cornell University, Indiana University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin, all of which were named as defendants. It allows users to search for page numbers where specific text can be found, though they cannot see text from the books themselves unless authorized by copyright holders.
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