Thursday, November 14, 2013

UPDATE: Google Library Triumphs; Judge Throws the Book at The Authors Guild

English: , judge on the United States District...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Citing the "significant public benefits" Google Books' Library Project provides, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Denny Chin today ended an eight-year battle and dismissed the copyright infringement suit brought by The Authors Guild against Google, Inc.

The case, The Authors Guild et al. v. Google Inc. (Case No. 1:05-cv-08136) was brought by The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers in 2005, alleging the search engine colossus' ambitious project of uploading the collections of the Library of Congress, New York Public Library and several university libraries violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act [Pub. Law 105-304]. Google, which already has scanned more than 20 million books, countered that their actions were protected by the fair use doctrine.

Judge Chin, while conceding Google had not obtained permission from copyright holders before scanning their works, noted the project's value to scholars, the increased access to readers and the enhanced revenue opportunities for authors and publishers as among the benefits Google Books provided that warranted fair use protection. The book scanning process, Judge Chin ruled, was transformational.

The epic struggle between the two sides has been chronicled in this blog (see "TUOL" posts 7/2/13, 11/16/12, 9/19/12 & 2/19/10) and most recently, included the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversing the trial court last summer by holding the plaintiffs were not entitled to class action status.

According to accounts in the Wall St. Journal Law Blog and THR, Esq. blog, The Authors Guild plans to appeal Judge Chin's decision.

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