Menu
Judge dismisses Authors Guild case against Google Books

Judge dismisses Authors Guild case against Google Books

The ruling tosses out an 8-year-old class-action lawsuit against Google

A U.S. judge has thrown out a long-standing copyright infringement case brought against Google by the Authors Guild, saying the company's book-scanning project provides significant benefits to the public.

Judge Denny Chin, formerly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, dismissed the author advocacy group's 8-year-old copyright lawsuit against Google on Thursday. Google's Books project is protected by U.S. fair use doctrine, Chin ruled.

The benefits of the Google Books project "are many," Chin wrote in his ruling. "Google Books provides a new and efficient way for readers and researchers to find books. It makes tens of millions of books searchable by words and phrases."

Google Books has become "an essential research tool, as it helps librarians identify and find research sources, it makes the process of interlibrary lending more efficient, and it facilitates finding and checking citations," Chin added.

The Google scanning program also expands access to books, Chin wrote. "Traditionally underserved populations will benefit as they gain knowledge of and access to far more books," he wrote.

"Google Books provides print-disabled individuals with the potential to search for books and read them in a format that is compatible with text enlargement software, text-to-speech screen access software, and Braille devices."

Chin, in 2012, had allowed the Authors Guild class-action lawsuit to move forward against Google, but a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overruled him earlier this year. The appeals court directed Chin to reconsider the merits of Google's fair use defense.

Google didn't ask authors' permission before beginning to scan millions of books, but the company has taken steps to ensure that users of its Books service can only see snippets of books scanned without permission, Chin wrote in his Wednesday ruling. Some publishers and authors have given Google permission to make their complete books available.

Google applauded Chin's decision. "This has been a long road and we are absolutely delighted with today's judgement," the company said in a statement. "As we have long said, Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and acts like a card catalog for the digital age -- giving users the ability to find books to buy or borrow."

Representatives of the Authors Guild weren't immediately available for comment.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.

Tags copyrightinternetGooglelegalintellectual propertyCivil lawsuitsU.S. District Court for the Southern District of New YorkAuthors GuildDenny Chin

Featured

Slideshows

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kick-start 2018. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018
Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Show Comments