Google goes around

The saga of Google's attempt to put millions of books online without permission rumbles on. We are still waiting for dates for the court case brought by the US Authors' Guild, after Judge Denny Chin rejected Google's motion to throw it out in May - having earlier rejected a proposed settlement between the Guild and Google.

Now there are spin-off cases. Last autumn the Guild and others launched a case against US university libraries collected as the "Hathi Trust", over their use of books scanned by Google. As reported in October's Freelance, Hathi smartly withdrew its list of "orphan" books after authors' reps were able to locate one of the allegedly-missing authors in under three minutes. This case may well reach trial as early as November.

Lawyers for the Guild argue that "nothing in copyright law permits the unlicensed scanning, copying and use of millions of copyrighted books, whether by a giant commercial entity like Google or a group of university libraries."

The Association of Research Libraries and the Association of College and Research Libraries both fought the proposed settlement: "by forgiving Google for unlawfully scanning millions of copyrighted works," the website Inside HigherEd summarises, "the settlement would give the company an unchallengeable monopoly on digitized books."

Now the library groups have filed a "friend of the court" brief in the Hathi case that "reads like a glowing review of Google Books".

Last modified: 11 Aug 2012 - © 2012 contributors
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