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What Matters--And Doesn't--About Google's Fair Use Win

Forbes contributor Eric Goldman writes that Judge Denny Chin's decision last week that Google's book-scanning project is a fair use under copyright law is a big deal in some ways and a not so big deal in other ways.

Among the ways that the ruling is a big deal:

1. It strengthens Google's position as the go-to search engine.

2. It adds to the canon of search engine law (of which there is not a lot).

Among the ways that the ruling isn't a big deal:

Fair-use rulings are specific to each case so "it would be a mistake to overassume the opinion’s broader implications for fair use on the Internet," Goldman opines.


Does Fair Use Protect Google's Digital Library Project?

The long-running putative class action between Google and the Authors Guild and other content producers over Google's project in which it has digitized over 20 million books was back in federal court yesterday.

Reuters reports that Judge Denny Chin appeared to favor the fair use argument by Google, which is seeking to immunize the claims of copyright infringement brought by the plaintiffs. Chin said that Google's project has helped people get information, including law clerks in his chambers, Reuters reported of the oral argument.

The Second Circuit ruled that Chin prematurely approved class certification for the authors without deciding if the fair use defense applies. While Chin is a circuit judge himself now, he retained jurisdiction, Reuters reported.


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