Google can now move forward with their book scanning project and digitize millions of e-books without having to pay authors. The ruling came from a U.S. appeals court who said that the project is considered “fair use” of published material under copyright law.
Google has scanned more than 20 million books since 2004 without the permission of the authors. The company allows users to search for specific terms and provides excerpts and links to where people can buy or borrow a book.
“Google’s division of the page into tiny snippets is designed to show the searcher just enough context surrounding the searched term to help her evaluate whether the book falls within the scope of her interest (without revealing so much as to threaten the author’s copyright interests),” Circuit Judge Pierre Leval wrote for the court.
In a statement, Google spokesman Aaron Stein said the project is like a “card catalog for the digital age.” Furthermore, “Today’s decision underlines what people who use the service tell us: Google Books gives them a useful and easy way to find books they want to read and buy, while at the same time benefiting copyright holders,” he said.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.