Google Wins Digital Book Lawsuit

In its copyright war with writers, the ads giant seems to have bagged the ‘fair use’ extract win in the digital book lawsuit. Google has managed to defeat the writers that had allegedly stated that the web giant was breaking the law when it had put extracts of around hundreds of millions of books free of charge. The advertising goliath had been sued by the Authors Guild and groups, which represent graphic artists and photographers and they had claimed that the Google Books website was simply a symbol of a massive breach of copyrights. Since 2004, the service has scanned about 30 million titles and enables its users to extract texts without having to pay even a dime to the authors of the books.

It was ruled by a US judge that the ‘fair use’ protections cover the digitizing project against any sort of copyright claims. This finally capped off a very long-running legal battle, which had been undertaken over the legality of the archive operation. This battle had threatened to shut it down, but didn’t manage to do so. It was stated by the search engine giant that it had proven to be an immensely long road, but the company was pleased with the judgment that had been passed finally.

The statement also said that all copyright laws were respected by Google Books and in this very digital age, their website simply acts as a card catalog allowing the users of the search engine to find the books they want and buy or borrow it as per their wish. According to Denny Chin, the southern New York district court judge, no copyright is infringed by the Google Books project. As a matter of fact, he also added that the company should get protection against any further legal action on the same subject. A turning point is marked by this ruling is a legal war that has been ongoing between the publishing industry and Google for about eight years.

Last October, Google had made a settlement with publishers in the US who had made the same claims against the web giant. Judge Chin asserted in his decision that Google Books was basically providing people with a great public service as it was promoting the progress and development of arts and sciences, but also maintained consideration of the rights of creative individuals such as writers and neither did it have any adverse impacts on the rights of the copyright holders. The arguments that were made by Google stating that fair use protections would support the project in the US were upheld by the judge.

It was claimed by the search engine giant that  it shouldn’t be regarded as a competitor of stores that are selling e-books and printed books and giving revenue to creators and publishers because it is only providing digital excerpts. It was suggested by the digital book lawsuit judge that sales might even receive  a boost because of the Google Books project as it would be used librarians and patrons for identifying the books they wish to purchase.

comments