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Alternate Media and Copyright—The Hathi Trust Case

| Proposal No: 1935

Bios & Handouts


  • Gaeir Dietrich, Access Specialist, Consultant

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

The presenter will provide an introduction to basic copyright principles and exceptions to the copyright principles, including those provided by the Chafee Amendment and “fair use.” Building on this base, we will consider the conclusions reached by Judge Baer in the Authors’ Guild case.


In the Authors Guild, Inc. v. Hathi Trust, S.D. N.Y (2012), the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) and other groups addressed the claim of the Authors Guild that permitting Google to digitize thousands of books contained in the libraries of five major universities was an obvious violation of the Copyright Act. We will review the decision, issued by Judge Baer, and consider the implications for students with disabilities.


  1. (1) Increase understanding of how copyright and exceptions to copyright apply to the production of alternate m
  2. (2) Become familiar with the reasoning and rationale for the “fair use” exception to copyright
  3. (3) Recognize best practices in qualifying for the fair use exception when creating alternate media

Speaker Bio(s)

Gaeir Dietrich

Gaeir Dietrich is a nationally recognized expert in the field of alternate media, assistive technology, and Section 508 compliance. Gaeir has served on advisory boards for the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Bookshare, the DIAGRAM Center, the Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC), and the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center. In 2010-2011, she served as the chair for the federal Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education.