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Court Finds In Favor of Libraries In Google Books Affair 39

First time accepted submitter cpt kangarooski writes "While it's not a final victory in the long-running Google Books matter, the related case by the Authors' Guild against the universities working with Google in the digitization project has produced a ruling that their book scanning is a fair use. You can read the opinion here. This bodes well for Google's case, although note that this wasn't directly about them."
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Court Finds In Favor of Libraries In Google Books Affair

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  • Wired story... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:38AM (#41619841)

    here [] (but if you want to decipher a 23 page court opinion instead, feel free...)

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:06PM (#41620089)

    Simply because the word "library" doesn't appear doesn't mean it isn't about them. Hathicourt (i.e. the defendant) is an online digital library which is the result of a collaborative of dozens of research libraries, such as the Universities of Michigan, California, Washington, et. alia., universities often having the biggest and best libraries in existence (and the most interested in preserving and accessing them).

  • by Tastecicles ( 1153671 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:28PM (#41620289)

    "Plaintiffs, consisting of individuals and associational organizations, assert claims for copyright infringement for the alleged unauthorized reproduction and distribution of books owned by the Universities"

    If they're going to phrase their assertion like that, surely the Doctrine of First Sale applies?

    "Plaintiffs’ motion for judgment on thepleadings insofar as it seeks a ruling that fair use and other defenses are unavailable to theDefendants as a matter of law is DENIED."

    DOES NOT say "Judgment for the Respondents insofar as their use of the material of which hard copy they own (as freely admitted in the VERY FIRST PARAGRAPH) constitutes "Fair Use".

    I will buy the argument that the Plaintiffs made no *specific claims*, in that they do not seem to have specified titles or specific copyright ownership. Any *sane* Judge would dismiss on those grounds alone.

    I will also accept: The Copyright Act’s standing clause explicitly limits who may enforce copyright claims: “the legal or beneficial owner of an exclusive right under a copyright is entitled . . . to institute an action for anyinfringement of that particular right committed while he or she is the owner of it.” 17 U.S.C. 501(b). By that same argument I will not negotiate with MPAA/RIAA/BPI or any associative umbrella. I will deal only with the *actual copyright holder*. Anyone else claiming to be representing a copyright holder can go fuck himself.

    ABKO Music Inc. v. Harrisongs Music, Ltd., 944 F.2d 971, 980 (2d Cir. 1991) (“[T]he Copyright Act does not permit copyright holders to choose third parties to bring suits on their behalf.” is a precedent decision which prevents such idiocy as you see here.

    As the Collection is made as a digital Library (by the very title of the project), as far as I can see it is protected under Section 108 as a Library, with the protections afforded a dead tree repository. A Section 108 defense is NOT an exclusion of Section 107 (Fair Use) as it specifically states that it is an *additional protection of rights for libraries*.

    I can see a Chaffee Amendment in there as well. Oh, look, there it is. Foot of Page 15. Google it.

    At the bottom of the Judgment, the very last page, the decision is basically: the Plaintiffs have no legal standing to make the claim they did since they are not copyright holders. The seven dockets were closed and the case dismissed. This does NOT prevent the actual copyright holders filing on their own, even to repeat verbatim, the entire bundle. There *may* be some legal standing under hte Berne Convention, but that is an argument for another day, another courtroom.

    This battle is far from over.

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:28PM (#41620295) Journal

    Page 2, under the section titled Background (emphasis added, smart quotes dumbed down):

    Defendants have entered into agreements with Google, Inc. ("Google"), that allow Google to create digital copies of works in the Universities' libraries in exchange for which Google provides digital copies to Defendants...

  • Re:Wait ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tastecicles ( 1153671 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @01:21PM (#41620761)

    Nope, no such finding there. The dockets were dismissed on the grounds that the Associative were not themselves holders of the copyrights (which they did not specify), which is correct under the Copyright Act.

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