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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Google Will Appeal Court Ruling over eLibrary

The search giant is allowed to appeal the granting of class status to writers who are suing Google over its plans to create the biggest digital library in the world.

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Recently, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has granted the company permission to challenge the latest decision by Circuit Judge Denny Chin to let writers sue as a group.

In case of Google’s victory the search engine will save billions of dollars and force the Authors Guild, an outfit behind the authors, to fight each case individually. The search giant has already scanned over 20,000,000 books, and the Authors Guild has claimed Google should pay it $750 for each work copied.

Circuit Judge Denny Chin decided that it would be unfair to force Authors Guild members to sue one at a time. This would mean different results and higher legal costs. However, the alarming part for Google was that the judge also added the phrase “taking into consideration the sweeping and undiscriminating nature of defender’s unauthorized copying”, which probably means it’s toast if it ever comes to a decision.

The company told the Appeals court that case-by-case determinations are necessary to find out whether the search engine was making “fair use” of the authors’ works. Google insists that “fair use” would be its main defense point, and the company therefore shouldn’t be forced to litigate without the full benefit of its principal defence.

Media reports confirm that Google started creating the digital library after the company has signed agreements in 2004 with a number of major research libraries, under which it got the right to digitize both current and out-of-print works. After this, the company started scanning and spent loads of time and efforts to allow everyone have access to knowledge. Thus far, Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the University of California, and the New York Public Library have all had their book collections digitized.

In the meantime, in March 2011 Denny Chin delivered another ruling on the case, rejecting a $125 million settlement and saying that otherwise it would provide the search engine with a “de facto monopoly” to copy books en masse without permission.

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