Google received a big victory last month in the eight-year court battle, giving the nation’ s librarians a reason to applaud. Google won the right to scan more millions of books and make excerpts available online through its Google Books and Google Scholar directories. The Authors Guild, an advocacy group for writers and publishers, had sued, arguing that Google was violating copyrights and profiting from others’ work.
But U. S. Signal Judge Denny Chin ruled that will Google’ s plan fit inside the boundaries of “ fair use” under copyright law. The database has “ become an invaluable study tool, ” Chin wrote. “ It preserves books, in particular out-of-print and old books that have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries, plus it gives them new life. ’ The Authors’ Guild has indicated it will appeal. For now, however , the Library Copyright Alliance declared victory.
Google’ s online library “ enables the finding of a wealth of resources simply by researchers and scholars, ” said Trevor A. Dawes, president from the Association of College & Research Libraries, which is a member of the alliance. This individual and other librarians also noted that the database would make millions of publications available to readers with disabilities and the ones in remote communities.
For students, this means that they can use Google to conduct more thorough research. Moreover, in cases where big portions of an assigned text are available online, students may even be able to sidestep expensive textbook purchases altogether.
The decision, if it survives a good expected appeal, would let Google continue expanding the library, which it said helps readers find books they might not otherwise locate.
It is also turning point just for litigation that began in 2006, when authors and publishers sued. Google has estimated it could owe more than $3 billion if the Writers Guild, an advocacy group that will demanded $750 for each scanned book, prevailed.
“ It is a big win for Google, plus it blesses other search results that Google displays, such as news or pictures, ” said James Grimmelmann, the University of Maryland intellectual home law professor who has followed the case.
“ It is also a great ruling for libraries and scientists, because the opinion recognizes the public advantage of making books available, ” this individual added.
Chin wrote that the scanning makes it easier just for students, teachers, researchers and the open public to find books, while maintaining “ respectful consideration” for authors’ legal rights.
He also said Google’ s digitization was “ transformative, ” meaning it provided the books a new purpose or character, and could be expected to boost instead of reduce book sales.
The judge noted that Google takes steps to keep people through viewing complete copies of publications online, including by keeping some snippets from being shown.
“ In my view, Google Books provide significant public advantages, ” Chin wrote. “ Indeed, all society benefits. ”
According to Reuters, Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, said the group is disappointed in the decision and plans to appeal.
“ Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world’ s valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works, ” Aiken informed Reuters. “ Such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of the fair use protection. ”
Among the 3 individual plaintiffs is former New York Yankees baseball pitcher Jim Bouton, who wrote the memoir “ Ball Four. ”
Google welcomed the decision.
“ This has been a long road and we are absolutely delighted along with today’ s judgment, ” the Mountain View, California-based company said in a statement. “ As we have lengthy said, Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and functions like a card catalog for the digital age. ”
Google began creating the library after the firm agreed in 2004 with several major research libraries to digitize current and out-of-print works.
Among the libraries that have acquired works scanned are Harvard University, Oxford University, Stanford University, the University of California, the University of Michigan and the New York Community Library.
Chin said the scanning has given “ new life” to “ out-of-print and old books that have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries. ”
The decision does not problem the ability of people to buy books by using Google.
In March 2011, Chin rejected a $125 million settlement with authors and publishers, saying it raised copyright laws and antitrust issues by giving Google a “ de facto monopoly” to copy books en masse.
Then in May 2012, Chin said the authors can sue as a group in a class motion.
But last Come july 1st, the 2nd U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where Chin now sits, said the judge had been premature in certifying the case being a class action before evaluating the fair use defense.
Chin had overseen the Google Books case as a trial judge, and kept jurisdiction after joining the 2nd Circuit.
While publishers settled with Google a year ago, the company faces other litigation more than digitizing content, including from categories of photographers and graphic artists.
The Authors Guild is definitely separately appealing, on fair make use of grounds, an October 2012 termination by U. S. District Determine Harold Baer in Manhattan of its copyright case against the HathiTrust digital library, a partnership between five major university libraries to create a discussed digital repository.
Grimmelmann, the law professor, said Chin’ s decision, which drew on Baer’ s, bolsters the fair make use of defense for online content providers.
“ As long as you are certainly not substituting for content by showing readers all of it, and instead basically show where to find content or tell things you learn about it, this opinion means you are legally in the clear, ” Grimmelmann said.
The case is Authors Guild Inc et al v. Google Inc, U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No . 05-08136.