Google Books Copyright Case
The Google Books copyright case centers on several copyright infringement cases filed by the American Association of Publishers (AAP), the Authors Guild, and others against Google for digitizing, indexing, and providing search access to the public of millions of library books.
Since the lawsuit was initially filed in 2005, numerous actions have occurred. The AAP, the Authors Guild, and Google proposed an initial settlement in 2008, but after privacy, antitrust, and other concerns were expressed by numerous parties, including the US Dept. of Justice, the settlement proposal was rejected by the court (Judge Chin). In 2012, after continuing negotiations to reach a revised settlement fell through, the AAP settled separately with Google, in an undisclosed settlement that reportedly appears to be largely a concession by the publishers. The Authors Guild has continued its litigation, and in 2012 won certification as representative of a very broad class of authors. In 2013 the Second Circuit reversed the class certification, and sent the case back to the District Court on the issue of fair use. On November 14, 2013, the District Court (Judge Denny Chin) held that the Google Books index was a "highly transformative" fair use, and granted summary judgment for Google on the question. (See opinion (PDF).)The Authors Guild immediately announced that they would appeal.
- Sept. 5, 2014 - Photographers and Google settle. See http://googlepress.blogspot.ca/2014/09/google-photographers-settle-litigation.html
- Nov. 14, 2013 - Big win for fair use. See opinion (PDF) and commentary by Laura Quilter, Copyright Librarian @ UMass.
- Oct. 4, 2012 - Announcement about settlement between Google and AAP.
- Aug. 1, 2012 - Library Copyright Alliance files amicus brief arguing that digitizing books in order to index and make them available for searching is a fair use. See LCA brief (PDF).
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Authors Guild v. Google, relating particularly to privacy concerns in the 2008 proposed settlement, and addressing other aspects of the litigation.
Last Edited: 20 October 2014