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Google wins appeal in book-scanning copyright lawsuit

google books

Google has won an appeal in what is now a decade-long legal dispute over whether the company violated copyright law when it scanned millions of books into its online database.

The original lawsuit was brought against Google by the Authors Guild in 2005 and claimed that Google had violated copyright law by allowing readers to view up to 20 pages of copyrighted books without purchasing them.

Google won the case two years ago, but the Authors Guild opted to appeal the ruling, which led to today’s decision upholding Google’s win.

A panel of three judges unanimously agreed today that Google had not violated any copyright by allowing the text of the scanned books to be searched by users because the sections that were viewable to users without a purchase were not significant enough to amount to infringement.

You can read the full opinion at the Wall Street Journal.

The case is not to be confused with the very similar case involving the Association of American Publishers, which ended when the group came to an agreement with Google almost three years ago to the day.

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