Court Clears Google Super-library
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Manhattan, gave its decision in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by authors and several authors’ groups after a number of American universities agreed in 2004 to let Google scan their books and create a repository for more than 10 million titles.
The three-judge panel said creation of the database was a “quintessentially transformative use” of a copyrighted work, a legal principle supporting a finding that it is lawful – in the US, at least – to copy and store books electronically without the permission of authors and publishers.
Judge Barrington Parker said it was important that the repository “does not allow users to view any portion of the books they are searching.” As a result, he added, it “does not add into circulation any new, human-readable copies of any books.”
Lawyers for the authors had argued that digital libraries would be susceptible to hackers.