A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that, under the “fair use” doctrine, Google can continue its project to build a huge digital library of books, including books that are under copyright protection. For the past decade, Google and The Authors Guild have been litigating over Google’s right to include copyrighted books in this project. But will we be able to read online or download these copyrighted books for free? Apparently not. Here’s the summary opinion:
"Google's unauthorized digitizing of copyright-protected works, creation of a search functionality, and display of snippets from those works are non-infringing fair uses. The purpose of the copying is highly transformative, the public display of text is limited, and the revelations do not provide a significant market substitute for the protected aspects of the originals. Google's commercial nature and profit motivation do not justify denial of fair use. (2) Google's provision of digitized copies to the libraries that supplied the books, on the understanding that the libraries will use the copies in a manner consistent with the copyright law, also does not constitute infringement. Nor, on this record, is Google a contributory infringer."
Since the project began in 2004, Google has scanned more than 20 million books, with more to come. The Google collection is nearly as large as that of the Library of Congress, which has 24 million books among its collection of 160 million items. That’s assuming that Google’s collection is all books and does not count other items. The system is searchable and snippets of the books are available online.
Have any of you used this service? What’s your opinion of it?
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... court-says