It took eight long years, but a judge has finally ruled on a lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild against Google, concerning the web site’s library book scanning project. The judge dismissed the Authors Guild’s lawsuit.
So what is the library book scanning project? According to the Google Books web site, “[Google is] working with several major libraries to include their collections in Google Books and, like a card catalog, show users information about the book, and in many cases, a few snippets – a few sentences to display the search term in context.”
According to Publishers Weekly, the Authors Guild argued that copyrights were ignored only to ultimately impact the book market in a negative way. But Judge Denny Chin ruled that Google’s book scanning project is a benefit for books, readers, and authors, as Andrew Albanese explains:
“In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits,” Chin wrote. “It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.”
The Authors Guild plans to appeal the decision, but it could run into a problem. The Second Circuit is already handling a similar case, in which the judge also initially ruled against the guild.
What do you think of Google Books and its library book scanning project? Good for books/authors or bad?