New York Appeals Court Upholds Google Books Digitisation project as ‘Fair Use’

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A New York court of appeals ruled on 16 October, that the Google Books digitisation project does not violate ‘fair use’ legal provisions. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2014 judgement in the case of The Authors Guild versus Google Inc. (Alphabet), concluding that:  “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… [ctd] (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.”