Google Wins Appeal Decision On Scanning Copyrighted Books
Google has won an appeals decision on its controversial book-scanning practice. New York based U.S. Circuit Court Judge Denny Chin ruled that the practice is “transformative” and does not violate copyright. The Google case hinges on not making the books totally available online. Rather, it allows the material to be searched and provides “snippets.” Thus, the argument goes, the practice is protected by the same “fair use” provisions that allow a book reviewer to use snippets in their reports.
NPR’s report on the decision notes that “… Google began scanning books back in 2004. Many of the works were by living authors. The Authors Guild took legal action against Google, demanding $750 for each book it scanned. Google estimated that it would have cost the company $3 billion.” Google also predicts the service could make older and out-of-print books more relevant.
An appeal to the U.S. Supreme court is promised by the authors and others seeking to protect their work. They argue that, because Google sells ads next to those “snippets” of books, it profits from their work without compensating the copyright holders. See the NPR report here: Judge: Google’s Book Copying Doesn’t Violate Copyright Law