Google Books Lawsuit Lurches Back to Life

December 25, 2011

Six years ago the Authors Guild first brought a copyright violation suit against Google for scanning books in its attempt to digitize every word ever published.  reports that now it is “Back to Square One in the Google Books Lawsuit.” The Guild just made the first procedural step required to bring a class action suit. What happened to the first attempt? Writer Jeff Roberts explains:

This is essentially where the authors were in 2005 when Google first partnered with dozens of libraries to create a digital collection that today numbers at least 14 million titles. The collection is now languishing unread after Judge [Denny] Chin rejected the Google Book Settlement, an ambitious three-way partnership that would have allowed Google to sell out-of-print books and share the proceeds with publishers and authors.

Many are anxious to know whether Google’s scanning will be judged a “fair use” that doesn’t violate copyright. Google is expected to move to have the case thrown out, but even if it proceeds, it will be a while before that question is answered; the case will be caught up in procedural matters for some time.

It’s too bad the Library of Congress did not tackle this project, since the Google approach seems to be going nowhere fast. The collective enlightenment of humanity will have to wait.

Cynthia Murrell, December 25, 2011

Sponsored by


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta