Per Second Circuit: Full Text Searchable Database Is Fair Use


Paul Devinsky wrote this bylined article analyzing the Second Circuit’s affirmation of a district court summary judgment ruling in favor of a consortium of authors, ruling that the unauthorized digitization of copyrighted works to create a full text searchable data base for print disabled users is fair use under the § 107 of the Copyright Act. “The case … drew a slew of interveners (representing handicapped groups) and amici,” Mr. Devinsky explained, noting that the decision sought to “balance tensions between the authors’ interest and the putative fair use; i.e., by avoiding excessive damage to the market for the original work.”