Supreme Court Declines to Hear Google Books Case

April 19, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced it will not hear Authors Guild v. Google, a case on whether Google’s book digitization project violates authors’ rights. The court’s decision leaves in place a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which ruled in favor of Google. Copyright experts previously predicted the court was unlikely to hear the case. The justices, as is their norm, did not elaborate on their decision not to take the case.

In a statement, the Authors Guild said it will continue to work on ways to make licensing of copyrighted works easier. The group also promised to "remain vigilant" of digitization efforts that follow Google's model.

“The price of this short-term public benefit may well be the future vitality of American culture,” Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild, said. “Authors are already among the most poorly paid workers in America; if tomorrow’s authors cannot make a living from their work, only the independently wealthy or the subsidized will be able to pursue a career in writing, and America’s intellectual and artistic soul will be impoverished.”

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