Fair Use Prevails!

Google wins book-scanning case: judge finds “fair use,” cites many benefits by Jeff John Roberts.

From the post:

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 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.

Chin also rejected the theory that Google was depriving authors of income, noting that the company does not sell the scans or make whole copies of books available. He concluded, instead, that Google Books served to help readers discover new books and amounted to “new income from authors.”


In case you are interested in “why” Google prevailed: The Authors Guild, Inc., et. al. vs. Google, Inc..

Sets an important precedent for topic maps that extract small portions of print or electronic works for presentation to users.

Especially works that sit on library shelves, waiting for their copyright imprisonment to end.

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