Court: Sorry Authors, Google Can Scan Your Books

Snippets fall under fair use, court decides
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2013 3:45 PM CST
Court: Sorry Authors, Google Can Scan Your Books
In this file photo, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle prepares a book for digital scanning in San Francisco. (Kahle isn't a fan of Google's digitization.)   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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. (More Google stories.)

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