A Digital Library of Alexandria: Google Books Remains Fair Use

simple-design-cute-home-library-shelving-units-home-depot-shelving-home-library-shelving-highlights-790x592By Sam Hampton

In the latest development in a decade long case, the Second Circuit ruled on October 16th that Google Books was fair use and did not violate book copyrights. The service provides fully searchable digital versions of over 20 million books. This tally includes copyrighted work; additionally, the full text of many books in the public domain that have been digitized. The service works with the Google Books Library Project, which partners with major libraries to digitize the volumes; the project’s goal is “to create a comprehensive, searchable, virtual card catalog of all books in all languages.”

The lawsuit was initiated in September 2005 by a number of copyright owners, as well as the Authors Guild, a nonprofit that supports authors. Google defended its service under the fair use doctrine. The District Court granted summary judgment in Google’s favor in November 2013, from which the appeal followed. Continue reading