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Authors Guild v. Google: Second Circuit confirms that Google Books Library Project is "fair use"

Submitted by jboyd on Mon, 10/19/2015 - 08:01

On October 16, 2015, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in Authors Guild v. Google. The Court confirmed the decision of Judge Chin that the scanning activities of Google within its Library Project are to be considered “fair use”, and concluded that:

“(1) Google’s unauthorized digitizing of copyright-protected works, creation of a search functionality, and display of snippets from those works are non-infringing fair uses. The purpose of the copying is highly transformative, the public display of text is limited, and the revelations do not provide a significant market substitute for the protected aspects of the originals. Google’s commercial nature and profit motivation do not justify denial of fair use.
(2) Google’s provision of digitized copies to the libraries that supplied the books, on the understanding that the libraries will use the copies in a manner consistent with the copyright law, also does not constitute infringement. Nor, on this record, is Google a contributory infringer.”

The complete decision can be downloaded from the Authors Guild’s website.

IFRRO has supported the appeal via a contribution through the IFRRO Enforcement Fund.