Contentious Google Book Scanning Case Approaches Fall Trial Date

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 4, 2012

Publishers Week news in following Google Book Scanning project postings: “After a round of key filings, two Authors Guild cases challenging Google’s ambitious library book-scanning program are on schedule for early fall trial dates. Final reply briefs were filed July 27 for the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, with that case now fully briefed and all but set for a November trial in Judge Harold Baer’s courtroom. And in the Authors Guild v. Google case, motions for summary judgment were also filed July 27, with a final round of reply briefs due September 17 and oral arguments set for October 9 before Judge Denny Chin. With the summary judgment motions now in, the question before the courts this time around is refreshingly simple compared to the complex 300-plus–page settlement agreement between the authors, publishers, and Google that was rejected by Judge Denny Chin in March of 2011: digitizing millions of books for preservation and indexing is either authorized by Congress under the Copyright Act’s fair use provision, or it’s not. The Authors Guild holds that the unprecedented mass digitization programs exceed Congress’s stated intentions, while lawyers for Google and the HathiTrust (a coalition of research libraries) argue that the public benefits and transformative nature of the scanning projects easily qualify them as fair use.”

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