Digital library legal dispute ends up in Google’s favour

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The long-running Digital library legal dispute has finally come to an end with the Judge ruling in Google’s favour.

The dispute started way back in 2005 when the US Authors Guild accused the search engine giant of digitally copying millions of books for an online library without permission that amounted to massive copyright infringement.

Google in its defense responded saying that as it was only putting excerpts of texts online, so there was nothing illegal or unethical about its plans.

Denny Chin, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, dismissed the case on Thursday saying that Google’s scanning project of more than 20 million books, and making “snippets” of text available online doesn’t violate any copyright law and was “fair use” adding that the project provides “significant public benefits” as it provides vital educational benefits and other related public benefits.

“In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits,” Chin wrote.

“Indeed, all society benefits.”

Chin said the search giant’s scanning project has given “new life” to “out-of-print and old books that have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries”.

Google welcomed the decision saying that “This has been a long road and we are absolutely delighted with today’s judgment.”

“As we have long said, Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and acts like a card catalog for the digital age.”

Paul Aiken, the Authors Guild’s executive director, with a promise to appeal against Chin’s decision responded: “We disagree with and are disappointed by the court’s decision today.”

“This case presents a fundamental challenge to copyright that merits review by a higher court. Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world’s valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works. In our view, such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of fair use defense.”