So I was scanning my news feed and came across an article entitled, “Libraries may digitize books without permission” and immediately began clicking the link. As the page came up, I realized that I had neglected to finish reading the title which further stated, “EU top court rules”
So European libraries may digitize books and make them available at electronic reading points without first gaining consent of the copyright holder. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) made the ruling last week. The CJEU just clarified the scope of the copyright directive and its decision does not finalize the dispute. It is for the national court to decide the case in accordance with the CJEU’s decision, which is binding on other national courts before which a similar issue is raised.
While there are some expected setbacks in the ruling itself—like restricting them to reading points within the library and no downloading or printing of the books—it is a huge benefit to libraries and their attempts to keep up with the digital movement. I can’t say what this will mean in American courts but it opens the theoretical door.