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IP Alert: Appeals Court Rules Google Book-Scanning Project Fair Use

October 16, 2015

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a major decision in copyright law. The case is The Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., and it pits a number of copyright holders against Internet giant Google. 

Through its Library Project and its Google Books project, Google has made and retained digital copies of tens of millions of copyrighted books submitted by major libraries. Google then made the books text-searchable on its website, allowing users to view snippets of the text containing the searched-for terms. The plaintiffs, who are authors of the published books under copyright, sued Google for copyright infringement in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Google contended that its actions constituted “fair use” under the Copyright Act.

The district court agreed with Google, and the plaintiffs appealed. Today the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling, holding that Google’s conduct constitutes “fair use.” 

Fitch Even lawyers are monitoring the case and will follow up with any additional developments.


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