Google Books Getting Sued?




I remember browsing Google books myself before, and always figuring it was free public domain stuff or else a deal made with the publishing house. I'm not sure how it's working, really. Apparently not so well according to publishing news.


The lawsuit was originally filed in 2005 but has now gained power as previously authors thought they had to individually sue. Now that it is a class action suit that encompasses all who want to join, the battle has changed greatly and become easier for more to participate:

 From Public Libraries.com
Judge Chin’s ruling to give the authors class-action status drastically changes the importance of the lawsuit.  Now the case represents all the authors that had one of their copyrighted books scanned by Google.  That’s a lot of authors given that over 12 million books have been scanned so far.  It brings much more weight to an already important decision in copyright law.

The lawsuit has already impacted many other digitization projects.  The National Digital Public Library of America wants to digitize print books and offer them as ebooks to its patrons.  They decided to only offer ebooks that are in the public domain or that have had their copyright expire.  There is no doubt that this decision was heavily impacted by the Google lawsuit.



Apparently Google has stated they were doing an OK, legal thing as it coordinated between scanned texts purchased by leading libraries and falls under "fair use." Authors say, not so much. What do you think?

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