Supreme Court Says It Won't Hear Authors Guild Appeal Over Google Books Ruling

from the nice-to-see dept

Last fall, the 2nd Circuit appeals court gave a clear and convincing win to Google in the long-running Authors Guild case against Google's book scanning program. And, really, the decision was a massive win for the public, in that it was a strong defense of fair use (even in commercial settings). But, of course, the still clueless Authors Guild -- which doesn't seem to actually represent the interests of most authors (many of whom have found Google Books to be a profoundly useful tool) -- decided to ask the Supreme Court to overturn the case.

That request has now been rejected. As is standard with the Supreme Court, no reason is given:
If you can't read that, it just says that the petition for cert is denied and that Justice Kagan "took no part in the consideration." I'm not exactly sure why Kagan abstained -- I thought perhaps she had weighed in on earlier rounds of the case as Solicitor General, but can't find anything.

Either way, this is a very good thing. The excellent 2nd Circuit ruling stands. And while it technically only applies to cases in that circuit, it will most likely influence cases elsewhere. Also, the Supreme Court has a long, and unfortunate, history of coming up with nutty decisions in big copyright cases.

Filed Under: 2nd circuit, book scanning, copyright, elena kagan, fair use, supreme court
Companies: authors guild, google


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2016 @ 11:47am

    Not Surprising

    The Supreme Court has a long, and unfortunate, history of coming up with nutty decisions in favor of big business in big copyright cases. Although they made the right move in this case, I suspect Google's size was the reason.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2016 @ 7:23am

      Re: Not Surprising

      The "big business", in this case would be the corporations who own the publishers, so, as usual, you're wrong.
      Try again, boy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2016 @ 2:28pm

      Re: Not Surprising

      You do realize the "but but but Google" argument is pretty tired at this point?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 18 Apr 2016 @ 12:01pm

    But how will authors get paid?

    If people can now freely read short snippets from out of print books that will never be in print ever, ever again, then how will the authors of those books get paid?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 18 Apr 2016 @ 12:45pm

    The Guild's Next Move

    Sue Google for not providing a link to "buy a drm laden copy for your kindle/ipad/whatever device here" at only twice the price of the original hardback, with all proceeds going into more lawsuits against innovation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2016 @ 1:05pm

    "nutty decisions in big copyright cases"

    Translation:

    "decisions that don't favor the corporations I astroturf for"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2016 @ 1:12pm

    "Makes it harder to sell my books."

    If _I_ were an author, the first thing I'd want everyone to know is, let me think, "if you read even a small snippet of my work, you're unlikely ever to want to purchase anything I write."

    Yes, I'd paint that on billboards: I'D EVEN MAKE A FEDERAL CASE OF IT.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Steerpike (profile), 18 Apr 2016 @ 4:56pm

    The Author's Guild said today that the Courts focused too much on the public benefit of what Google was doing, and then said this:

    "The price of this short-term public benefit may well be the future vitality of American culture...."

    A bit of hyperbole there!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Apr 2016 @ 9:00am

      Re:

      With just a dash of humor too, given eternal copyright is much more damaging to culture than expanding fair use slightly, yet I doubt they'd be in favor of shortening copyright terms in order to bolster the 'vitality of American culture'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2016 @ 4:59am

    Avarice and greed, just one of the deadly sins.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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