Google book-scanning project clears last legal hurdle

April 18, 2016
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The Authors Guild claimed Google was illegally scanning and digitizing millions of books without compensation to the copyright holders/AFP
The Authors Guild claimed Google was illegally scanning and digitizing millions of books without compensation to the copyright holders/AFP

, WASHINGTON, United States, Apr 18 – Google’s massive book-scanning project cleared its final legal hurdle Monday as the US Supreme Court denied an appeal contending it violates copyright law.

The top US court denied without comment a petition from the Authors Guild to hear the appeal of a 2013 federal court ruling seen as a landmark copyright decision for the digital era.

In a decade-long case, authors and their backers claimed Google was illegally scanning and digitizing millions of books without compensation to the copyright holders.

But the ruling by federal judge Denny Chin, backed by an appellate panel, said the colossal project in which Google allows users to search books and see snippets of text was “fair use” under copyright law.

The appeals panel last October rejected the arguments of the Authors Guild, several prominent writers and leading publishers that the Google Books program and its Library Project would eat into their earnings potential by allowing readers free access to the books.

Backers of Google contended that digitization offers numerous public benefits for researchers and others.

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