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]
On 14 November, the New York District Court found that Google’s scanning of library collections falls under ‘fair use’ and is a valuable service for scholars, libraries and the public. [Full text of the ruling here.] The American Library Association issued a news release stating that the ruling “furthers the purpose of copyright by recognizing that Google’s Book search is a transformative fair use that advances research and learning.” The Authors Guild plans to appeal the ruling. The Google Books site is here.