Tag Archives: Google Books

The Art of Google Books Scans

“It was while looking at Google’s scan of the Dewey Decimal Classification system that I saw my first one—the hand of the scanner operator completely obscuring the book’s table of contents,” writes the artist Benjamin Shaykin. What he saw disturbed him: it was a brown hand resting on a page of a beautiful old book, its index finger wrapped in a hot-pink condom. In the page’s lower corner, a watermark bore the words “Digitized by Google.” There are several collections of Google hands around the Web, each one as creepy as the one Shaykin saw.” (via The New Yorker)

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Libraries applaud dismissal of Google Book Search Case

“After eight years of litigation, the U.S. 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. The Library Copyright Alliance—which is comprised of the American Library Association, the Association of College & Research Libraries and the Association of Research Libraries—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.” (via ALA)

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Google Books Case Appears Ready to Be Decided

“It took Judge Denny Chin less than 40 minutes yesterday to hear oral arguments on the cross motions for summary judgment in the Authors Guild’s long-running lawsuit against Google over its library book scanning project. Once expected to be a defining copyright battle for the digital age when it was first filed in 2005, the case came down to a short, anticlimactic hearing in which Chin reserved judgment, but sounded more than ready to deliver a decision that could end the matter.” (via Publishers Weekly)

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Google Seeks Ruling Copying Books Without Permission Is Fair

Google Inc., the world’s largest search engine, is facing the challenge of persuading a judge that digitally copying millions of books for online searches without authors’ permission is protected by copyright law. The company is set to argue today in federal court in Manhattan that the fair-use provision of the Copyright Act shields it from liability for copyright infringement. Authors and a trade group oppose the project, claiming Google has taken away their rights for its own gain without compensating them.” (via Bloomberg)

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Authors Guild: Wait for Congress to Sort Out Google Scanning

“In its final brief before oral arguments, the Authors Guild this week closed by imploring Judge Denny Chin to shoot Google’s book scanning program, and let Congress ask questions later. “The fair use doctrine is not designed to address the enormity of Google’s infringement,” Authors Guild attorneys argue, calling the legality of the book scanning program “a cutting edge” technological issue best left to Congress to address. “Until Congress addresses these critically important issues, courts must defer to the choices already made by Congress,” the brief argues, by rejecting “Google’s unilateral and profit-driven effort to upset the established balance between copyright owners and users.” (via Publishers Weekly)

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Eight Years Later, the Google Books Fight Lumbers On

“Like a pair of boxers staggering from their corners for the ninth round, Google and the Authors Guild traded another round of briefs last week in their long-running, slow-moving Google Books fight. There is very little left to be said at this point in the case, and they said it at great length. The question is, why are they still fighting? For Google, the book scanning program has always been a corporate backwater, something put together in its 20% time. Despite grandiose claims about a new Library of Alexandria and the occasional cool toy for bibliophiles, it has never been a marquee project. Twenty million scans later, Google Books still doesn’t show up in the menu at the top of the Google homepage. YouTube it ain’t.” (via Publishers Weekly)

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U.S. court throws out Google digital books class status

“A federal appeals court on Monday said a lawsuit against Google Inc’s effort to create the world’s largest digital books library should not have been allowed to proceed as a class action. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said Circuit Judge Denny Chin erred in prematurely certifying a class of potentially hundreds of thousands of authors, saying he should have first determined the merits of Google’s “fair use” defense.”(via Reuters)

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Google Books Chronicled In New GigaOM Book

“Google scanned its first book ten years ago, the first step in its quest to change how books are accessed and read. This move caused a commotion in the publishing world, where copyright litigation ensued until this year. This story has been chronicled in a new eBook from author Jeff Roberts, called The Battle for the Books, out from tech publisher GigaOM today. Here is the book’s description: “As Google beat a path to the door of the world’s libraries and proceeded to scan everything from War and Peace to Watership Down, the company’s quest to build the largest library triggered a power struggle of massive proportions, as everyone from Amazon to the Justice Department and writers across the world rushed to halt the project.”

via AppNewser

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Google asks court to ax book-scanning suit from Authors Guild

“Google is trying to convince the courts to throw out a book-scanning lawsuit filed against it by the Authors Guild. In a brief submitted to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals last Friday, Google argued that a suit filed on behalf of all authors whose books have been scanned shouldn’t be allowed because most authors support the scanning. Backing up its claim, the company yet again cited a survey that found 58 percent of the authors polled approved of Google scanning their books so the content could be searched online. A full 45 percent said they had already seen or expect to see higher demand for their books as a result of the scanning. And 19 percent said they’ve benefited financially from the scanning.

via CNET News

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Court rules book scanning is fair use, suggesting Google Books victory

“The Author’s Guild has suffered another major setback in its fight to stop Google’s ambitious book-scanning project. The Guild lost a key ally when Google settled with a coalition of major publishers last week. Now a judge has ruled that the libraries who have provided Google with their books to scan are protected by copyright’s fair use doctrine. While the decision doesn’t guarantee that Google will win—that’s still to be decided in a separate lawsuit—the reasoning of this week’s decision bodes well for Google’s case. Most of the books Google scans for its book program come from libraries. After Google scans each book, it provides a digital image and a text version of the book to the library that owns the original. The libraries then contribute the digital files to a repository called the Hathitrust Digital Library, which uses them for three purposes: preservation, a full-text search engine, and electronic access for disabled patrons who cannot read the print copies of the books.”

via Ars Technica

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