Second Circuit Says Copyright Law Allows Google To Digitize And Index Published Works

Breaking news from the Second Circuit!  Here is the headnote for the just-released decision:

Plaintiff-appellants, who are authors of published books under copyright, appeal from the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Chin, J.) in favor of Defendant Google, Inc. Plaintiffs sued Google, alleging that its Library Project and Google Books project infringe Plaintiffs’ copyrights. Through these projects, Google makes and retains digital copies of books submitted to it by major libraries, allows the libraries that submitted a book to download and retain a digital copy, and allows the public to search the texts of the digitally copied books and see displays of snippets of text. The district court granted summary judgment based on its conclusion that Google’s copying is fair use under 17 U.S.C. § 107 and is therefore not infringing. The Court of Appeals concludes that the defendant’s copying is transformative within the meaning of Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 578-585 (1994), does not offer the public a meaningful substitute for matter protected by the plaintiffs’ copyrights, and satisfies § 107’s test for fair use. AFFIRMED.



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