Judge: Google Books is 'Fair Use'

In 2005 a group of authors and publishers sued Google for scanning and posting online  segments of books to which they (the authors and publishers, not Google) held the rights.  Today U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin ruled that Google's actions do not violate U.S. copyright law, since Google puts the complete text of a book  online only if it has the copyright holder's permission. From the ruling: “In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits....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.” As you can imagine, the folks at Google are happy. The Authors Guild, not so much.  They plan to appeal. Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen ponders the implications of the ruling here. Frankly I consider Google Books free advertising for authors and publishers.  The section of a book Google makes available for preview is invariably *just* enough to get me interested. Then I get the nice little note, "some pages are omitted from this book preview," "some pages" meaning, "the rest of the book."    

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