The Google Books Project is Lawful

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The saga over the legality of the Google Books project finally came to an end on April 18, 2016, when the Supreme Court of the US refused to intervene in the case over alleged copyright infringement for scanning millions of books and making them searchable online. This was a final blow to authors’ representatives who in a 186 page petition tried to argue that Google engaged in copyright infringement “on an epic scale.”

This means that the decision of the Court of Appeals rendered in October 2015 remains in force and sets an important precedent concerning the application of the fair use standard. Back then, the Court of Appeals ruled that the Google Books project significantly contributes to the availability of information, facilitates the dissemination of knowledge, and promotes creativity and science. In the following paragraphs we will briefly (i) touch upon the main features of the Google Books project, the legality of which was contested in this litigation; (ii) introduce the main arguments that led the Court of Appeals to conclude that Google Books should be deemed as fair use under the US copyright law; and (iii) discuss whether copyright systems in civil law countries have any similar tenets to the fair use doctrine in dealing with intricate copyright infringement matters.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date16 May 2016
PublisherWolters Kluwer, Kluwer Copyright Blog
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2016

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