Judge Denny Chin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York today dismissed the copyright violation lawsuit that US author groups had launched against Google.
The search giant has been digitizing tens of millions of books to create a massive online library / bookstore but the project was opposed in a lawsuit by US publishers and author organizations that started in 2005. The publishers’ group split off and settled earlier.
The judge wrote that the ambitious project respects authors’ rights and is a case of “fair use” (equivalent to fair dealing in Canadian copyright law):
“It preserves books, in particular out-of-print and old books that have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries, and it gives them new life. It facilitates access to books for print-disabled and remote or underserved populations. It generates new audiences and creates new sources of income for authors and publishers. Indeed, all society benefits.”
The Infodocket website has full coverage and reaction from parties and observers. It also includes a full-text of the court decision.