Google book-scanning lawsuit re-focuses on snippets and fair use

Google book-scanning lawsuit re-focuses on snippets and fair use

Google continues to scan millions of books from cooperating university libraries, including general books that are still in print and in copyright. But multiple lawsuits by writers, artists, and illustrators against Google and its library "partners" are also continuing.

A proposed settlement of one of those lawsuits, to which the National Writers Union and many other writers successfully objected, would have allowed Google to use for its own profit, display online, and license as e-books the full text of the books it has scanned, without authors' consent.

Since that proposed settlement was rejected by the court, the case has been narrowed to focus on Google's initial scanning of copyrighted books and display on its website of excerpts from those books.

The main question is whether that falls within the limited exception to the requirement of permission for "fair use" that doesn't "interfere with normal exploitation" of copyrighted work.

Prof. James Grimmelmann has a report on the latest hearing in Authors Guild v. Google, and an overview of the case, in his blog:  GBS: Oral Argument Recap

Documents and a calendar of future court hearings and filing deadlines in this and related cases are available at  The Public Index, a project of Prof. Grimmelmann and his students at New York Law School.

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