Google prevails over authors in book-scanning U.S. lawsuit

By Gretchen | November 15, 2013

(Reuters) – Google Inc on Thursday won dismissal of a lawsuit by authors who accused the Web search and media group of digitally copying millions of books for an online library without permission.

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan accepted Google’s argument that its scanning of more than 20 million books, and making “snippets” of text available for online searches, constituted “fair use” under U.S. copyright law.

The judge said the massive library makes it easier for students, teachers, researchers and the public to find books, while maintaining “respectful consideration” for authors’ rights. He also said the digitization was “transformative,” and could be expected to boost rather than reduce book sales.

“In my view, Google Books provide significant public benefits,” Chin wrote. “Indeed, all society benefits.”

The decision on Thursday is a turning point for litigation that began in 2005, when authors and publishers sued Google over its digital books plan.

Google had estimated that it could owe more than $3 billion if the Authors Guild, an association of authors that demanded $750 for each scanned book, prevailed.

Michael Boni, a partner at Boni & Zack, the law firm representing authors, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Google did not immediately respond to a similar request.

Read the Google Final Judgement Summary here.

Read full post here. (originally posted 14 November 2013)