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Court Rules that Google Books is Fair Use, Not Copyright Infringement

11.14.13

A ruling in favor of Google after 8 years of litigation about Google Books since it “has become such an important tool for researchers and librarians that it has been integrated into the educational system — it is taught as part of the information literacy curriculum to students at all levels.” On November 14, 2013 US Circuit Judge Denny Chen (Second Circuit) granted Google’s motion for summary judgment which included the following:

…Google is entitled to summary judgment with respect to plaintiffs’ claims based on the copies of scanned books made available to libraries. Even assuming plaintiffs have demonstrated a prima facie case of copyright infringement, Google’s actions constitute fair use here as well. Google provides the libraries with the technological means to make digital copies of books that they already own. The purpose of the library copies is to advance the libraries’ lawful uses of the digitized books consistent with the copyright law.

The Order also includes this description of Google Books:

All types of books are encompassed, including novels, biographies, children’s books, reference works, textbooks, instruction manuals, treatises, dictionaries, cookbooks, poetry books, and memoirs.

Some 93% of the books are non-fiction while approximately 7% are fiction.

This ruling may be appealed, but as it stand now Google won a major victory for Internet consumers who rely on Google Books.

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