The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 16 that the Google Books Library Project is protected by fair use and does not infringe on copyright issues.
The ruling affirms a 2013 lower-court decision that the search engine company did not violate copyright infringement laws by scanning millions of titles and making snippets available via libraries and online searches. Google initiated the effort in 2005 with several major research libraries to make bibliographic information and excerpts viewable. If a book is out of copyright and in public domain, it is available to read or download.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York denied the Authors Guild’s claim that Google was providing a substitute for the original works. The 2013 decision found that Google’s book-scanning policy — even without the author’s permission — was in compliance with copyright law. Google has scanned more than 20 million books since launching the initiative, according to a 2013 story from NPR.
The Authors Guild’s claim argues that the Google Books Library Project would take away authors’ revenue from their books. Google’s contention is that the search could have the opposite effect, by making authors’ books more available to find.
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