For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Authors Guild appeals Google Books decision

Copyright thoughts for Marcel, even
during NYE toast: do the
flowers on his glass ... 
Just a couple of days have passed since this Kat indicated the decision of Judge Denny Chin in the Google Books Library Project case (here and here) as the most important copyright ruling of the year, with the disclaimer that a new chapter of this saga would be written in appeal. 

This is indeed what will happen.

Yesterday, Publishers Weekly announced that, in a filing with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Authors Guild gave notice that it is appealing Judge Denny Chin’s ruling before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [where incidentally Judge Chin now serves].
... infringe copyright in those on
Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque
champagne?


Still according to Publishers Weekly, the appeal could be complicated by the fact that the Second Circuit is already preparing to rule on a parallel case, the Authors Guild v HathiTrust [on which see here and here]

The HathiTrust case was first brought in 2011, a few months after Judge Chin rejected the revised settlement between the Authors Guild and Google.

This case also deals with unauthorised book scanning. The Authors Guild unsuccessfully sued HathiTrust, a collective of Google's library scanning partners, claiming copyright infringement. 

As noted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), this was "a puzzling suit to bring -- if anything, the libraries have an even stronger fair use defense than does Google."

We'll see what happens in the coming copyright-rich months ... Stay tuned and have a great New Year's Eve!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The fact that this is still unresolved after a decade of costly litigation that Google has used to exploit 20 million copyright works without permission proves that Fair Use is fair only if you are fairly rich.

john r walker said...

Fair use only allows the indexing of books and snippet views of a very small part of a book. The reason why this case dragged on was because the question over fair use was dodged for years, most of the long running argument was over the proposed settlement between the Guild and Google. And in particular whether the guild, a small group of mostly elderly authors could claim to represent all authors, including those not yet born.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you must be right since you are a Second Circuit judge. I defer to your magnificent jurisplonk!

john r walker said...

Dear Anonymous
If you want to attempt to understand the very long and strange life and death of the Google Books settlement case go here http://thepublicindex.org/
days and days of fun reading

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty familiar with it, thanks. Let's wait and see whether your colleagues in the 2nd Circuit agree with you that mass-digitization of 20 million books and snippets are fair game. Should the authors take it on the Chin?

john r walker said...

Expect the Guild will never stop trying, old tricks and old dogs stuff.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 19:58, hasn't the decision already been rendered? Google's treatment was deemed Fair Use under the four prong test. Decidedly so, in fact.

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