Google Books Project Ruled Fair Use by US Appeals Court—ARL Releases Issue Brief
image CC-BY by Shawn CollinsThe US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled on Friday, October 16, 2015, in Authors Guild v. Google—also known as the “Google Books” case—that Google’s mass scanning and digital indexing of books for use in creating a searchable online library constituted a legal “fair use” of copyrighted material rather than an infringement.
Issue Brief: Second Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Fair Use in Google Books Case
On October 16, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously affirmed the lower court's fair use decision in Author's Guild v. Google, also known as the "Google Books" case. Google, through its Library Project, made digital copies of tens of millions of books submitted to the project by libraries. Google then included these copies in a search index that displays "snippets" in response to search queries. The Second Circuit held that the copying of the books and the display of snippets is transformative and a fair use. Furthermore, Google's provision of digital copies to its partner libraries that submitted the particular works is not an infringement.
Terms:2015, Accessibility, Copyright, Court Cases, Digitization, Fair Use, Google Books, Issue Brief, Krista L. Cox, Publications, Text
Libraries Laud Appeals Court Affirmation That Mass Book Digitization by Google Is 'Fair Use'
image CC-BY by Shawn CollinsThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today ruled in Authors Guild v. Google that Google's mass digital indexing of books for use in creating a searchable online library constituted a legal “fair use” of copyrighted material rather than an infringement.
LCA Files Amicus Brief in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. Appeal
On July 8, 2014, the Library Copyright Association filed an amicus brief for Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Google Books Case Dismissed—Victory for Fair Use and Libraries
Google BooksOn November 14, Judge Denny Chin of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the digitization of millions of books from research library collections was a fair use and dismissed the Authors Guild case against Google and its Library Project, saying that the project “advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration of the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.” In his decision, Judge Chin cited a November 2012 amicus brief (PDF) submitted by the Library Copyright Alliance (comprised of the Association of Research Libraries, the American Library Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries). The Authors Guild has stated that they disagree with the decision and plan to appeal.
LCA Updates Diagram, "GBS March madness: Paths Forward for the Google Books Settlement"
On March 4, 2010, the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announce the release of "GBS March Madness: Paths Forward for the Google Books Settlement." This diagram, developed by Jonathan Band, explores the many possible routes and outcomes of the Google Books Settlement, including avenues into the litigation and appeals process. The updated version reflects Judge Chin's March 2011 rejection of the settlement and suggested modification as well as Judge Chin's November 2013 granting of Google's motion for summary judgement against the Authors Guild, finding that Google's scan and snippet display was a fair use. The Authors Guild has announced its intention to appeal.
Libraries Applaud Dismissal of Google Book Search Case
On November 14, 2013, after eight years of litigation, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York upheld the fair use doctrine when the court dismissed Authors Guild v. Google, a case that questioned the legality of Google's searchable book database. The Library Copyright Alliance welcomes Judge Denny Chin's decision to protect the search database that allows the public to search more than 20 million books. In his dismissal of the case, Judge Chin enumerated the public benefits of Google Book Search by calling the project transformative and a fair use under the copyright law.
Press Release (PDF)
Libraries Applaud Dismissal of Google Book Search Case
Google BooksAfter eight years of litigation, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York today upheld the fair use doctrine when the court dismissed Authors Guild v. Google, a case that questioned the legality of Google’s searchable book database.
Herbert Mitgang et al. v. Google Inc.
Court transcript from Herbert Mitgang, et al., v. Google, Inc. September 23, 2013, hearing before Judge Denny Chin in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
LCA Files Amicus Brief Supporting Defendent—Appellant and Reversal in Authors Guild v. Google
On November 16, 2012, members of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed an amicus brief in support of defendant-appellant and reversal in the Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., case being heard in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
ARL Joins ALA, ACRL, and EFF in Amicus Brief Supporting Google Book Search
On August 1, 2012, members of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) joined EFF in an amicus brief in support of the Google Book Search settlement.
Amicus Brief (PDF)
LCA Issues Statement on Copyright Reform
In the wake of Judge Chin's rejection of the Google Books Settlement, there has been a renewed interest in legislative solutions to a variety of copyright issues affecting libraries, including those implicating the mass digitization of books, the use of orphan works, and the modernization of 17 U.S.C. §108 (particularly preservation). The Library Copyright Alliance, comprised of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), has several general comments on possible efforts to address these issues via legislation.
Letter to Federal Trade Commission re: Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter Google, Inc. (Google Buzz), File No. 1023136 (Apr. 26, 2011)
ARL comments to the FTC on the proposed consent agreement, specifically, regarding privacy issues raised by the Google Books product, which involves both searching and selling books.
A Guide For the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement
On March 22, 2011, Judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed settlement in copyright infringement litigation over the Google Library Project. Judge Chin found that the settlement was not "fair, reasonable, and adequate" as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Chin issued the decision over a year after the fairness hearing he conducted. His opinion agrees in large measure with the objections to the settlement asserted by the U.S. Department of Justice at the hearing and in its written submissions. This paper discusses the opinion and where it leaves Google Books Search.
LCA Releases Statement on Google Books Settlement Rejection
March 24, 2011 - The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) released a brief statement in regard to Judge Chin's rejection of the Google Books settlement and his suggested modification.
The Google Books Settlement: Second Round Comments
Late last year, Google, the Author's Guild, the American Association of Publishers, and the individual plaintiffs in the lawsuit over Google's massive book digitization program negotiated several revisions to their original Proposed Settlement Agreement (original agreement). The revisions were designed to address concerns raised by the Department of Justice and other critics who advised the court to reject the original agreement. The deadline to file comments on the new Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement (amended agreement) was January 28, 2010. The Department of Justice filed its comments on Thursday, February 4, 2010. This document describes the second round of comments.
Letter to William F. Cavanaugh re: Google Library Project Settlement (Dec. 15, 2009)
The American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries (the Library Associations) write to follow-up on our May 27, 2009 meeting with Antitrust Division staff concerning the proposed settlement of the Google Library Project litigation.
A Guide for the Perplexed Part III: The Amended Settlement Agreement
On Friday, November 13, 2009, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers filed an Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) in the copyright infringement litigation concerning the Google Library Project. The amendments proposed by the parties are designed to address objections made by the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to the original proposed settlement agreement. While many of the amendments will have little direct impact on libraries, the ASA significantly reduces the scope of the settlement because it excludes most books published outside of the United States. This paper describes the ASA's major changes, with emphasis on those changes relevant to libraries.
Letter to Daralyn J. Durie, Esq. re: Privacy Concerns about the Google Book Settlement (Oct. 6, 2009)
Letter to attorneys involved in the Google Books Settlement case written to urge Google to include enforceable privacy protections along with the amended settlement agreement.
The Google Books Settlement: Who Is Filing And What Are They Saying?
The Association of Research Libraries, the American Library Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries have prepared this document to summarize in a few pages of charts some key information about the hundreds of filings that have been submitted to the federal district court presiding over the Google Books litigation.
Letter to Lamar Smith and John Conyers re: Hearing on Competition and Commerce in Digital Books (Sept. 4, 2009)
ALA, ARL, and ACRL express views on the market for digital books, in particular the proposed settlement of the litigation concerning the Google Book Search service.
Supplemental Library Association Comments on the Proposed Google Books Settlement
The American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries (the Library Associations) submit these comments to address developments relating to the proposed Settlement that have arisen since the Library Associations filed their initial comments with this Court on May 4, 2009. In particular, these comments discuss the amendment Google and the University of Michigan (Michigan) entered into on May 20, 2009 that expanded the 2004 agreement that allowed Google to scan books in the Michigan library for inclusion in Google's search database.
Letter to Faculty re: Google Books Settlement
A generic letter for faculty informing them of the implications of the October 2008 proposed Google Books settlement.
A Guide for the Perplexed Part II: The Amended Google-Michigan Agreement
On May 20, 2009, Google and the University of Michigan (Michigan) entered into an amendment that expanded the 2004 agreement that allowed Google to scan books in the Michigan library for inclusion in Google's search database. The new agreement (the Amendment) addresses the provisions of the proposed settlement agreement between Google and the plaintiffs in the Google Book Search litigation.
Research Library Issues, no. 264 (June 2009)
RLI issue 264 includes the following articles:
- ARL Encourages Members to Refrain from Signing Nondisclosure or Confidentiality Clauses
- The Case for Regulating Google and the Proposed Book Rights Registry
- Learning and Research Spaces in ARL Libraries: Snapshots of Installations and Experiments
- A Different Kind of Conversation: The Sparky Awards and Fresh Views on Change in Scholarly Communication
- ARL Selects Research Library Leadership Fellows for 2009 10
Terms:2005–2009, Google Books, Leadership, Licensing, Publications, Research Library Issues, Scholarly Communication, Space, Facilities, and Services, Text
Google Books Library Project – An enhanced card catalog of the world's books
We're working with several major libraries to include their collections in Google Books and, like a card catalog, show users information about the book, and in many cases, a few snippets – a few sentences to display the search term in context.
What does a Google Books Library Project book look like?
When you click on a search result for a book from the Library Project, you'll see basic bibliographic information about the book, and in many cases, a few snippets – a few sentences showing your search term in context. If the book is out of copyright, you’ll be able to view and download the entire book. In all cases, you'll see links directing you to online bookstores where you can buy the book and libraries where you can borrow it.
To see close-ups of these pages and to learn more about Google Books features, view our Screenshots.
What's the goal of this project?
The Library Project's aim is simple: make it easier for people to find relevant books – specifically, books they wouldn't find any other way such as those that are out of print – while carefully respecting authors' and publishers' copyrights. Our ultimate goal is to work with publishers and libraries to create a comprehensive, searchable, virtual card catalog of all books in all languages that helps users discover new books and publishers discover new readers.