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Appeals Court Finds Scanning To Be Fair Use 34

Posted by timothy
from the only-reading-it-for-the-articles dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) writes In Authors Guild v Hathitrust, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has found that scanning whole books and making them searchable for research use is a fair use. In reaching its conclusion, the 3-judge panel reasoned, in its 34-page opinion (PDF), that the creation of a searchable, full text database is a "quintessentially transformative use", that it was "reasonably necessary" to make use of the entire works, that maintaining four copies of the database was reasonably necessary as well, and that the research library did not impair the market for the originals. Needless to say, this ruling augurs well for Google in Authors Guild v. Google, which likewise involves full text scanning of whole books for research.
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Appeals Court Finds Scanning To Be Fair Use

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  • Hah! (Score:4, Funny)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday June 13, 2014 @08:09PM (#47233973)
    I tried to scan the court opinion into my research database but my OCR full-text indexer couldn't even understand the first three lines! Must be DRM'ed or something.
  • Key Point Missing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @08:26PM (#47234085)

    The summary misses a key point. Yes they scan and store the entire book, but they are _NOT_ making the entire book available to everyone. For the most part they are just making it searchable.

    • The summary misses a key point. Yes they scan and store the entire book, but they are _NOT_ making the entire book available to everyone. For the most part they are just making it searchable.

      Agreed that it's not in the summary, but as you correctly note, it's just a "summary". Anyone who reads the underlying blog post will read this among the facts on which the court based its opinion: "The public was allowed to search by keyword. The search results showed only the page numbers for the search term and the number of times it appeared; none of the text was visible."

      So those readers who RTFA will be in the know.

  • Needless to say (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @08:34PM (#47234115)

    It doesnt bode well for Google as Google are not using scanning for research, they are a publicly listed corporation scanning books to profit from showing the public books and adverts and selling the resulting data to anyone who will pay them with the authors getting 0 compensation.

    • They are not showing the whole book, but a teaser, limited amount of text or pages. kind of like showing you a movie trailer is not like showing you the entire movie. If anything Google is engaged in free advertising to those who are bound to profit from new copy sales. And then again there are those who just get by on the promotional material, without making a full purchase. A lot pf porn picture samples are like that, it says on them they are a sample, and real images have superhigh resolutions. When was
      • by plover (150551) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:42PM (#47234381) Homepage Journal

        ... because prostitution is illegal in a lot of places.

        Apparently it's illegal in the same places where carriage returns, line feeds, paragraphs, and coming to a logical conclusion are illegal, too.

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Friday June 13, 2014 @08:56PM (#47234183) Journal
    Yeah, for a split second there...I read it as:

    Court finds port scanning to be fair.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, for a split second there...I read it as: Court finds port scanning to be fair.

      Yes slashdot has a long tradition of failing to use basic literacy and then feeling an overwhelming urge to share this fact with the group.

    • Me too! :D Ignore the cowards.

  • Knowledge (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ultracrepidarian (576183) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @02:47AM (#47235179)

    "The field of knowledge is the common property of mankind."
    --- Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Henry Dearborn, 1807)

  • But what good is a scanned book if it's available but you can't actually access it? Almost everything since 1930 is under copyright, and we're legally denied access to this wealth of information, including works under copyright but orphaned. Scanning books, digitizing them, making them searchable -- and then what? If you can't get the book, what good is it? Almost all books before digital typesetting are available online only in bad-photocopy scanned PDFs, not even full text.

    A sane society would strip the c

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by thunderclap (972782)

      But what good is a scanned book if it's available but you can't actually access it? Almost everything since 1930 is under copyright, and we're legally denied access to this wealth of information, including works under copyright but orphaned. Scanning books, digitizing them, making them searchable -- and then what? If you can't get the book, what good is it? Almost all books before digital typesetting are available online only in bad-photocopy scanned PDFs, not even full text.

      A sane society would strip the copyright from any book that is not currently available digitally, if the copyright holder (supposing the copyright holder can even be found) has no plans to make it available digitally in the next year, and revert it to the public domain. Then Google - and anyone else - could do whatever they wanted with the text.

      A sane society would have a 14 yr copyright, a president and congress who actually listen to the masses and only serve 4 or six yrs, a Bruce jenner who never married Kris Kardashian because told him it would be his worst mistake ever, a childless Pattie Mallette, a RIAA that served its artists giving them 80% of the money an album earned and didn't attack the people who shared it, muslims and jews who didn't hate each other, women, gays and want to explode themselves in crowded places, a US that didnt spill

  • Since there's a ton of scanned, searchable PDF D&D books, that did NOT come from the copyright-holder, I bet WotC is pissed about this result.

  • Scanners do not live in vain!

Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue. - Seneca

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