BREAKING: Google Books Wins 'Fair Use' Case

October 16, 2015

Google's practice of scanning copyrighted works to turn them into digital resources has once again been ruled a "transformative" example of fair use. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Friday released its opinion in Authors Guild v. Google, delivering a 3-0 win for defendant.

Writing for a unanimous court, Judge Pierre N. Leval said "Google’s making of a digital copy to provide a search function is a transformative use, which augments public knowledge by making available information about plaintiffs’ books without providing the public with a substantial substitute for matter protected by the plaintiffs’ copyright interests in the original works or derivatives of them."

Legal experts said the ruling leaves little room for further litigation. James Grimmelmann, professor of law at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, said on Twitter that "It's hard to see this suit as anything but a debacle for the Authors Guild."

Many academic authors have backed the challenge to Google Books, while many academic libraries have welcomed Google Books.

This story is developing.

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