Google Victorious in Book Scanning Case

April 20, 2016 at 10:22 am | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On April 18th, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the case of Author’s Guide v. Google, which effectively ends over a decade of litigation between the two groups. At issue was the right of Google to scan and index out of print books from a number of libraries across the country. The plaintiffs had argued that Google’s actions went beyond fair use and robbed authors of reasonable compensation for use of their works. Google, on the other hand, argued that the scanned books did not compete with the originals because only a small section of the book could be viewed at one time. The company also argued that they were enhancing the potential value of the books by exposing more people to them.

Representatives from the Author’s Guide were, understandably, disappointed with the Court’s action and claimed that the ruling represented a great loss for authors and an incorrect interpretation of copyright law. Google released a statement after the ruling which said, “We are grateful that the court has agreed to uphold the decision of the Second Circuit which concluded that Google Books is transformative and consistent with copyright law.’’ (Source: New York Times) The Supreme Court, as is custom, did not give a reason as to why it refused to take up the case

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

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