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

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]

U.S. Federal Judge rules in favour of Google Books project. American Library Assoc. applauds.

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.