Federal Appeals Court Rules That Google Books Is Not Infringement

Google Books

The Authors Guild argued that the Google Books programme and its Library Project would eat into their earnings potential by giving readers free access to the books.

Google’s colossal attempt to scan and catalogue millions of books does not violate copyright law, a US appeals court ruled in a decade-long dispute by authors concerned that the project would ruin the market for their work.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected infringement claims from the plaintiffs led by the Authors Guild including several individual writers and leading publishers. The judge concluded that the short sections Google showed customers from its database was a transformative use of the information and hence did not violate copyright laws.

The Authors Guild argued that the Google Books programme and its Library Project would eat into their earnings potential by giving readers free access to the books. Writers included Jim Bouton, author of the best-seller Ball Four, Betty Miles, author of The Trouble with Thirteen, and Joseph Goulden, author of The Superlawyers: The Small and Powerful World of Great Washington Law Firms. The lawsuit was filed against Google in 2005; just a year after the project was launched.

In November 2013, Judge Denny Chin ruled that Google’s digitization of over 20 million books, mostly out-of-print titles, did not infringe copyrights because the company showed only snippets of the books in its database. Chin had said it would be rather difficult for anyone to read any of the books in their entirety by repeatedly entering different search requests.

However, the appeals panel did acknowledge that certain book sales would likely be lost if someone were merely searching for a portion of text to ascertain a fact.

The Mountain View, California-based Google has made digital copies of millions of books through agreements with major research libraries and established a publicly available search function. It planned to scan over 100 million books, including material from the New York Public Library, Library of Congress and many other major universities.

Google’s profit motivation does not justify denial of something that overall boosts public knowledge, the appeals court said. Universally accepted forms of fair use, such as news reporting and commentary, reviews of books, quotation in historical or analytic books as well as performances are usually done commercially for profit, the court added.

Previously, the Authors Guild had appealed the ruling at a lower court that also sided with Google, finding the digitization of books, even without the authors’ permission in compliance with copyright law.

Anna Domanska
Anna Domanska is an Industry Leaders Magazine author possessing wide-range of knowledge for Business News. She is an avid reader and writer of Business and CEO Magazines and a rigorous follower of Business Leaders.

Recent Posts

No Cakes for Women? The Story Behind National Brownie Day

No Cakes for Women? The Story Behind National Brownie Day

What’s the story behind those fudgy, cakey cookies? How did America begin to celebrate National Brownie Day?
20 hours ago
Celebrate with the Truest Form of Comfort on This National Brownie Day

Celebrate with the Truest Form of Comfort on This National Brownie Day

Life’s many existential questions come in the form of an answer: a hot, fudgy brownie! But why do we celebrate National Brownie Day and what is it about brownies that we so love!
24 hours ago
ExxonMobil Ups Budget on Carbon Emission Reduction to $15 Billion

ExxonMobil Ups Budget on Carbon Emission Reduction to $15 Billion

Exxon is already on track for achieving 15-20 percent reduction in upstream businesses by 2025.
2 days ago
DoorDash Launches 15-Minute Deliveries with Regular Hires

DoorDash Launches 15-Minute Deliveries with Regular Hires

The spinoff – called DashCorps – will allow employees to work on a set schedule, usually between 25 – 40 hours per week. The pay is $15 per hour; and DashCorps wo
2 days ago
Top 10 AI Stocks to Buy

Top 10 AI Stocks to Buy

Industry Leaders is here with top 10 AI stocks that are fueling the tech world at the moment. Here’s what AI stocks to buy.
3 days ago
Renewable Energy Adoption will Need to Change Gears to Meet Net-Zero

Renewable Energy Adoption will Need to Change Gears to Meet Net-Zero

Renewable energy adoption pace is good, but it is still falling short of meeting net zero emission rate, says the latest International Energy Agency’s (IEA) annual report. Higher
4 days ago