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03 July 2013

Google scores major legal victory in digital library scuffle

A US appeals court has struck a blow to authors aiming to derail plans by tech giant Google to create a digital library, ruling that they should not be able to sue as a group.

By James Barnes

Google: hoping to turn a page in digital library bid

In its ruling, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said that an earlier court decision to allow the authors to sue as a group was premature and failed to fully consider Google’s fair use defence, reports the Telegraph.

Fair use

The decision will bring huge relief to California-based Google, which estimated it could eventually owe more than $3 billion if the case against it were to prove successful.
The case will now be returned to a lower court to consider the fair use issues, with Google claiming that US copyright law allows it to display snippets of books in its proposed digital library.


The case began back in 2005 after Google scanned more than 20 million books, with The Authors Guild then demanding $750 for each one.
Michael Boni, a lawyer representing The Authors Guild, said that the group was ‘disappointed’ but would now focus on litigation over the fair use claims.
Google said it was ‘delighted’ with the ruling.

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