Google has prevailed in a much-watched lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild, which argued that the search giant had violated writers' copyrights by scanning their books into its database without asking permission. US Circuit Judge Denny Chin agreed with Google's argument that its scans were covered under fair use, because it showed only snippets of text and took steps to prevent people from reading entire books online, Reuters reports.
Indeed, Chin seems like a big fan of Google's efforts, calling them "transformative." He pointed out that the database made it easier for students and researchers to find books, and predicted that it would increase, rather than reduce, sales. "In my view, Google Books provide significant public benefits," he wrote. "Indeed, all society benefits." The Authors Guild says it will appeal, arguing that Google's unauthorized "mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of the fair use defense." Google previously lost a similar lawsuit in France.