Back in 2005, Authors’ had sued Google for copyright infringement. The Authors Guild feels that the project, Google Books, was illegally keeping them away from the revenue. The case was dismissed in 2013 by the lower court. The case was then taken forward to the U.S. Supreme Court wherein the authors seek justice. So, what happened of the Google Books case in the Supreme Court?
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case saying that it “tests the boundaries of fair use,” whatever Google is doing is allowed under the law. Lower courts also believed that Google is fairly using the work of the writers giving readers an opportunity to search a writer’s work online. What does Google say in the Google Books case?
Google Book Case: Google’s Side
Let us see what does Google Books do that was found objectionable by the authors. Fortune writes, “Google Books allows users to search the content of the books and displays excerpts that show the relevant search results.” While the company was accused of copyright infringement and illegally depriving authors’ of the revenue for the same, Google believes that the service “gives readers a dramatically new way to find books of interest” and also provide relevant information about buying the book. Readers are not allowed to read “any substantial portion of any book,” said the company in its defense. Google in the court has also said that “a copyright does not protect its holder against the listing of a work in either a traditional card catalog or in this vastly superior new form of search tool.” And here is what the court wrote in the company’s favor in the Google Books case:
“Google’s making of a digital copy to provide a search function is a transformative use, which augments public knowledge by making available information about plaintiffs’ books without providing the public with a substantial substitute for matter protected by the plaintiffs’ copyright interests.”
If authors’ would have won the case, Google would have lost billions of dollars. Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court that the company’s money is now not going anywhere.
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