Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Nov 2013 16:37 UTC

Google has won a resounding victory in its eight-year copyright battle with the Authors Guild over the search giant's controversial decision to scan more than 20 million library and make the available on the internet.

In a ruling (embedded below) issued Thursday morning in New York, US Circuit Judge Denny Chin said the book scanning amounted to fair use because it was "highly transformative" and because it didn't harm the market for the original work.

"Google Books provides significant public benefits," writes Chin, describing it as "an essential research tool" and noting that the scanning service has expanded literary access for the blind and helped preserve the text of old books from physical decay.

Too much common sense. I'm not sure I can handle this.

Permalink for comment 576890
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[10]: Evidence
by olafg on Fri 15th Nov 2013 20:21 UTC in reply to "RE[9]: Evidence"
Member since:

Google is making copies for free and without permission whereas the libraries have to pay for their copies.

Yes, but this isn't comparable since it is fair use to create copies for research and analysis (like statistical analysis), so if you create indexes based on the words in a book, you should be ok. It is a reasonable activity and making copies for that purpose is fair use (and should be).

The real issue is the publishing of excerpts/images etc… In most cases a single sentence is not protected by copyright, and the four lines from a novel might not be either. Not sure. A copyrightable work has to be substantial. However, a poem of 3 lines is a complete work and is substantial, so that you would have to judge on a case by case basis. The real question is if Google does that and seeks permission in cases where the "artistic density" is high. Maybe they do, maybe they don't.

Either way, Google wins. If copyright becomes undermined in society they will get more business, because that will direct businesses towards becoming service providers rather than content-manufacturers, and Google provides some of the best technology solutions for big service providers…

Google doesn't care about copyright… they care about service-creating opportunities and aggregating information. That's their business model and their own critical copyrightable IP is walled into their own data centers and never released so they don't really need copyright to protect their own business. Which is why they can keep challenging copyrights within the edges of US copyright law using small-scale fair use precedent (search), web-hosting laws (youtube), and scaling it up using lawyers to bring their strategy to the edges of prior rulings in the US and then deploy it to the entire world through the Internet (violating copyright laws of other countries).

Reply Parent Score: 2