(Washington, D.C., 14 November 2013) After eight years of litigation, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today upheld the fair use doctrine when the court dismissed Authors Guild v. Google, a case that questioned the legality of Google’s searchable book database.
The Library Copyright Alliance – which is comprised of the American Library Association, the Association of College & Research Libraries and the Association of Research Libraries—welcomes Judge Denny Chin’s decision to protect the search database that allows the public to search more than 20 million books. In his dismissal of the case, Judge Chin enumerated the public benefits of Google Book Search by calling the project transformative and a fair use under the copyright law.
“It has become an invaluable research tool that permits students, teachers, librarians, and others to more efficiently identify and locate books,” Judge Chin wrote, referencing an amicus brief (pdf) submitted by the Library Copyright Alliance. “It has given scholars the ability, for the first time, to conduct full-text searches of tens of millions of books. It preserves books, in particular out-of-print and old books that have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries, and it gives them new life.”
“It facilitates access to books for print-disabled and remote or underserved populations. It generates new audiences and creates new sources of income for authors and publishers. Indeed, all society benefits.”
Read the complete announcement.