U.S. Court Throws Out Class-Action Lawsuit Surrounding Google Books (GOOG)

Posted Jul 1, 2013

A court in the United States has thrown out a class-action lawsuit surrounding copyright that is against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) by the Authors Guild, according to PCWorld.  The lawsuit was filed because Google’s book-scanning project is considered “premature.”  The lawsuit was sent to a lower court for consideration of fair use issues.

The Authors Guild filed the lawsuit n 2005 and argued that the book-scanning project allows users to search for the text of books online.  The Authors Guild said that millions of authors have been hurt as a result of the book-scanning project.

Denny Chin, a judge that was formerly at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, let the class action go forward.  However, three circuit judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided that Judge Chin made an error in assigning class-action status to the case.  Google said that they are not violating copyright law and said that the “fair use” principe allows for reproduction of limited copyrighted material without permission.

According to the ruling, Google said that the plaintiffs are not able to “fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.”  Over 20 million books have been scanned and index through the Library Project of Google’s Book since the project launched in 2004.  Snippets of the books are available for search.

“We are delighted by the court’s decision,” said a Google spokesman. “The investment we have made in Google Books benefits readers and writers alike, helping unlock the great pool of knowledge contained in millions of books.”