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Authors Guild v Google, Inc - (16 Oct 2015)

Google wins lawsuit against scanning of copyrighted works

Intellectual Property Rights

A United States Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Google in a lawsuit concerning its book scanning activities. It determined that such digitisation of books, housed under the ‘Google Books’ database, did not constitute an infringement of copyright law as the company was not displaying, advertising or commercially profiting from the exercise. Instead, the endeavour could provide valuable data if previously inaccessible data could be made available to analytics and data mining software, brining it under the umbrella of ‘fair use’. Mindful that having digital versions of physical books that were previously kept on library shelves could encourage infringing practices or leave them vulnerable to hacking, the Court dismissed concerns as “nothing more than a speculative possibility”.


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