Appeals Court Affirms Google Book Search Is Fair Use

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.

Read the full story here.


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Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson is a professional communications specialist with more than 20 years’ experience in publishing, marketing communications, sales and visual communications experience. He started his career as a sports reporter and editor with the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Chronicle; as a copy editor with the Lenoir (N.C.) News-Topic and Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal; and then as the design editor with the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times. He left the field and became a financial advisor for Edward Jones, where he ran an office with more than $30 million in assets under management. After leaving the brokerage industry, he started his design and presentation company, A Touch of Omari. Among his projects was the children's book, "Makeda: Queen of Sheba" by Ronald Harrill, which won the International Book Awards' 2013 Best Children's Book Hardcover Nonfiction; the anthology "You and I: The Very Best of O'Bryan" by former EMI Capitol recording artist O'Bryan; and developing and launching an affiliate marketing program for a vegan food manufacturer and distributor in North Carolina. I currently is an editor for the Consolidated Editing Center newspaper group, which is a part of Berkshire-Hathaway Media Group. He helps oversee the production of four sports sections for newspapers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama.

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