Feeds

Google SO CAN scan ALL BOOKS onto its sites - judge

Ad giant bags 'fair use' extracts win in copyright war with writers

Application security programs and practises

Google has defeated writers who alleged the web giant broke the law when it put extracts from millions of books online for free.

The Authors Guild and groups representing photographers and graphic artists sued the advertising goliath, claiming the Google Books website was a massive breach of copyright. The service has scanned 30 million titles since 2004, and allows people to retrieve texts without anyone paying a dime to the authors.

Today, a US judge ruled that the digitizing project is covered by "fair use" protections against copyright claims, capping off a long-running legal battle over the legality of the archive operation that had threatened to shut it down.

"This has been a long road and we are absolutely delighted with today's judgment," the company said in a canned statement.

"As we have long said Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and acts like a card catalog for the digital age giving users the ability to find books to buy or borrow."

According to southern New York district court Judge Denny Chin, the Google Books project does not infringe copyright, and that it should be protected from further legal action.

The ruling marks a turning point in a legal war that has raged between Google and the publishing industry for eight years. Last October, the web giant settled with publishers in the US over similar claims.

"In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits," Judge Chin said in his decision today.

"It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders."

The judge upheld the arguments by Google that the project would fall under fair-use protections in the US. The company claimed that because the project only serves up digital excerpts, it should not be viewed as a competitor to stores selling printed books and e-books, which bring revenues for publishers and creators.

Judge Chin suggested that the Books project could even boost sales.

"A reasonable fact-finder could only find that Google Books enhances the sales of books to the benefit of copyright holders ... Indeed, both librarians and their patrons use Google Books to identify books to purchase," he declared.

With the matter over, for now, Google will now be able to have the complaint dismissed, and be allowed to continue its quest to assimilate the world's tomes – all 129,800,000 of them. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.