Last month, Google announced that after seven years of litigation, the company finally reached a settlement with the Association of American Publishers regarding book scanning. The saga, however, is not over yet.
On Friday, Google filed a brief in New York, in an effort to prevent authors from suing with class action status, as the Authors Guild is reportedly still seeking $750 per book. PaidContent’s Jeff Roberts shares the legal document:
Essentially, Google sees its whole Library Project as fair use, and believes many authors that would be included in a class action suit actually benefit from the project. With this in mind, Google feels class action status would prevent it from being able to defend itself on a case-by-case basis, which would be necessary for making its point.
Here’s a snippet from the document:
“Plaintiffs claim that Google Books’ scanning and snippet display of their work infringes their copyrights and seek to represent a class of authors in a suit to stop the project and to recover statutory damages. Google’s principal defense – the central issue in this litigation – is that the project is fair use: Google’s uses are ‘transformative because they do not ‘supersede’ the books but rather ‘add something new,’ a greatly improved way of finding them…The transformative nature of Google Books and the fact that, as a general matter, it makes books more accessible, more likely to be read and cited, and more likely to be sold render the entire project fair use…(holiding that digitization fo books for use in libraries’ online full-text search index is fair use because the use is transformative and causes non-speculative market harm). But if the district court rejects the contention that the entire project is fair use, Google is also entitled to present its fair use defense as to uses of individual works, and the court must evaluate Google’s particular uses of each of a wide variety of books.”
And the saga continues…