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Libraries Applaud Dismissal of Google Book Search Case

On Thursday, November 14th, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the case of Authors Guild v. Google.  By doing so, the court upheld the fair use doctrine and verified the legality of Google Books, Google’s searchable book database.  Judge Denny Chin’s decision that the Google Book project is transformative and therefore an example of fair use under the copyright law arrived after eight years of litigation that began in 2005 when the Authors Guild sued Google.  The Authors Guild felt that Google’s scanning of over 20 million library books without prior authorization from rights holders was a violation of those rights, but many librarians, scholars, and other researchers believed that Google created a valuable tool for the identification and location of books, as well as for the preservation of old and out-of-print books.

More information about this decision and the reaction of the library community is available on the ACRL Insider blog.


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