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Authors Guild appeals against Google Books decision

The Author’s Guild has appealed to the Second Circuit against a federal judge’s decision to dismiss its copyright infringement claim against Google Books

As expected, the trade association has filed a notice to appeal the November 14 decision by Judge Denny Chin which found the mass book-scanning project permissible under the fair use exemption.

Following an eight-year legal dispute, Chin ruled that Google Books provides “significant public benefits” and “enhances book sales to the benefit of copyright holders.”

“It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders,” Judge Chin wrote in his ruling. “Indeed, all society benefits.”

Shortly after the decision, Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, said in a statement that his organisation would appeal the judgment, which he described as a “fundamental challenge” to copyright.

Google scanned over 20 million works for the project. The Author’s Guild is also appealing an October 2012 decision which ruled that the libraries which supplied the books to Google were also protected by fair use. The guild sued the libraries in a separate lawsuit, Authors Guild v Hathitrust.

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