“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)
“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)
“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)
“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.”
“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