Court Finds Google’s Book Scanning Is Fair Use: Highlights From The Ruling

google-books-featured Nearly ten years after it began and eight years after Google was sued over it, Google's program that scans books in order to make them searchable has been found legal. A judge found fair use, especially in that "Google Books does not supersede or supplant books because it is not a tool to be used to read books." The ruling by Judge Denny Chin found that the Authors Guild's claims that Google was massively infringing the copyright of books didn't hold up. Below, some of the key highlights from his ruling. The Background & Permission Needed To Scan? Most of the ruling covers the ba [...]

Google Stung By Procedural Ruling In Book Scanning Lawsuit

Google received a procedural setback today in the long running litigation over its book-scanning project. Presiding Judge Dennis Chin ruled that the Authors Guild and a parallel trade organization for photographers could represent their members collectively against Google in the class action. Google had wanted to remove these organizations and deal individually with authors and their legal representatives. The decision today (order embedded below), though procedural only, may have an impact on the outcome of the case. That's because it effectively gives the authors and photographers more le [...]

Google Asks Court To Dismiss Book-Scanning Lawsuits

google-books-featured As their long-running legal battle continues, Google has asked a federal judge to dismiss lawsuits brought by authors' and photographers' groups over its book-scanning service. According to Bloomberg News, Google told judge Denny Chin that The Authors Guild can't sue on behalf of the authors because the Guild doesn't own the copyrights to the books that Google has been scanning since the program was announced in 2004. Reuters reports that, in response to Google's claim, Chin said "it would take forever" to resolve individual author's lawsuits and that it "seems to make sense" to allow th [...]

Google Books Lawsuit: Trial Proceedings Move Ahead, While Negotiations Continue

The lawsuit over Google Books is back on track for trial but purposely with enough time to allow the parties involved to keep negotiating a settlement. In a New York City courtroom today, Judge Denny Chin heard from Google, the Authors Guild and the American Association Of Publishers about progress in talks. Bloomberg reports that Jeannine Daralyn Durie, a lawyer for Google, told the judge that the company has made "substantial progress" in talks with publishers. The American Association of Publishers also says talks are advancing: "Today, we informed the court that the Association o [...]

Google And Largest French Publisher Update Accord On Book Scanning

Hachette Livre, the largest book publisher in France, has reached a book-scanning agreement with Google (actually it did last year; this is an update). The New York Times reports that while other publishers in France are still suing Google for scanning their copyrighted material without permission, the Hachette deal may provide a framework for other agreements, in France and the US. The Google book-scanning class-action settlement in the US was rejected earlier this year by the presiding judge Denny Chin, who has given the parties until mid September to come up with a new settlement framewo [...]

Harry Potter EBooks To Be Released In Open Google EBook Format

When "Harry Potter" series author J.K. Rowling announced she would finally allow e-book versions of her titles to be sold, though exclusively on the soon-to-be-launched, it was noted that the move bypassed retailers like Google has managed to get in on the action, however -- at least from a PR perspective -- as the books will be published in its open Google eBooks format, which can be accessed through 80 e-readers, along with browsers and smartphone apps. Google's publisher partners don't typically share revenue with the company, and the company has said it won't [...]

Google Working On Opt-In Settlement Of Book Search Lawsuit

A Google attorney told a federal judge today that the two sides involved in the long-running Google Book Search lawsuit settlement are negotiating an "opt-in settlement" in an attempt to finally put the case to rest. As The Laboratorium reports, Google's attorney Michael Boni told Judge Dennis Chin that both sides "have been aiming for an opt-in settlement." That would likely please Chin, who specifically suggested when he rejected the original settlement in March that an opt-in settlement would be a good idea: As the United States and other objectors have noted, many of the concerns rai [...]

Google Book Search Adds Contextual Search, Define & Translate

Now within Google eBooks you can search, define and translate words within the book using the click of your mouse. Using the Google eBooks Web Reader, which works in all modern browsers, you can highlight words with your mouse and select from a contextual menu to Define, Translate, Search Book, Search Google and Search Wikipedia. A pretty useful tool when trying to find where certain words were used elsewhere in the book, plus the obvious look up features for definitions and translation. Give it a try on Vanessa Fox's book, Marketing in the Age of Google and then click on "Vi [...]

Google Book Search Settlement Rejected By Court

google-books-featured Remember the Google Book (Class Action) Settlement? It's been some time since there's been any news. After many months of waiting, the court handed down its decision today -- a defeat for Google and those who supported the settlement. The Authors Guild brought a class action lawsuit against Google in 2005 for "massive" copyright infringement over its book scanning project. The parties worked out a settlement  in 2008 and had sought to finalize that settlement after many rounds of hearings. The settlement called for writers who objected to opt-out or be bound by its terms. That opt-out d [...]

A Local Search Marketing Tactic That’s One For The Books

Some commonplace, traditional promotion methods provide significant SEO benefits for local search marketers. However, many managers expend more time and energy focusing upon elusive technical tricks. Here's one local SEO tactic that businesses should consider: write a book. Way before the advent of the Internet, there have been many business owners who wrote books to gain more attention and renown from the public. For some, it was merely a vanity status symbol. For others, it was a chance to gain some additional respect, and, hopefully, more customers. Yet, for others who were already we [...]

European Commission Wants 7-Year Limit On Google’s Digitization

At a hearing Monday in Brussels, the European Commission issued a report calling for a 7-year limit on exclusivity deals that Google and other companies are signing with libraries and other cultural institution to digitize their material. At the end of seven years, other groups would be able to use the digitized works for commercial purposes. Google is using a 15-year "preferential use" limit, but the report -- and the comments of some EU commissioners -- says that the limit should be cut to seven years. The New York Times describes the preferential use this way: Androulla Vassiliou, the [...]

When OCR Goes Bad: Google’s Ngram Viewer & The F-Word

Google launched its Google Books Ngram Viewer this week, a tool that lets you research how popular words and phrases have been over several centuries, based on their appearance in books. But can you trust it? In the case of the F-word, no -- and perhaps in many other cases, as well. I read several mainstream news stories about the viewer after it launched, including a long piece in the Wall Street Journal. Those articles were generally filled with excitement. My own reaction to the tool was more muted. I immediately wondered if the underlying data was actually that accurate. Counting Words [...]

Going Head-To-Head With Amazon, Google Launches eBooks

Google has rolled out its long awaited digital ebooks program, the next step in the company's ambitious but controversial project to scan and make searchable the estimated 130 million books that exist in print versions. "The next logical iteration for us is to open up a bookstore," said Scott Dougall, product management director for Google eBooks. This means that Google is now in direct competition with other ebook sellers, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony and others—with one significant difference: While ebooks for Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook and other ebook dev [...]

Google Makes Deal To Scan Some French Books

While a US court is still deciding the fate of the Google book scanning settlement, the company has announced a deal with the biggest publisher in France that gives Google the go-ahead to scan some French books. But the key word there is "some." As The New York Times reports, publishing company Hachette Livre will decide which out-of-print-but-still-under-copyright books Google will be allowed to scan and sell electronically. The Times says this is a non-exclusive deal, so Hachette will be able to make the same books available to others. Google and Hachette will share sales revenue, but no [...]

Study: Google Book Search Doesn’t Hurt Publishers, May Help Them

While the wait continues for a decision in the long-running Google Book Search lawsuit and settlement proposal, a new study throws cold water on the idea that Google Book Search is bad for the publishing industry. And the study suggests that Google's scanning and digital previews of books may be helping publishers sell more books. The study, published last month by Hannibal Travis, an Associate Law Professor at the Florida International University College of Law, examines the revenues and operating incomes of U.S. publishers that claim they'll be most affected by the settlement and "finds n [...]

How Many Books Are There On Earth? Google Knows

Much like search marketers may salivate over some new piece of inside SEO info that Matt Cutts (or someone else at Google) shares, some book lovers seem to be fairly excited over an Inside Google Books blog post yesterday that answers the question, How many books are there in the world? The answer: 129,864,880 books. Google is, of course, in the process of digitizing many of the world's books, defending itself in lawsuits related to the scanning, and waiting for a judge's decision about its proposed settlement in a separate lawsuit. If you're really into books, Google's blog post gets [...]

Photographers Group To Sue Google Over Book Deal

While Google waits for news about its proposed book search settlement with authors and publishers, it's about to face a new legal challenge. The Financial Times reports that the American Society of Media Photographers and related trade groups are expected to file a new, class action lawsuit over the images that appear in the books Google has been scanning. The Financial Times spoke with James McGuire, the attorney who's leading the ASMP's case, who said this: Google is scanning in books and publications with visual images, which impedes the rights of the copyright holders of those images [...]

Google Books, Google Maps Get 3D View – But Only For April Fool’s Day

Earlier today, a Google PR person gave me a pair of 3D glasses at the Where 2.0 conference and said I'd need them tomorrow. Hmm, was Google Maps going 3D? Or maybe an April Fool's joke? But helping my son with his science project tonight, I came across a possible answer -- a new 3D view in Google Books. Here's what I encountered: See the "View in 3D" link? Click on that, and you get this: When viewed with the glasses I was given (standard paper 3D ones), sure, I guess it's a little 3Dish. I looked again through Google Books and found this 3D view option everywhere I looked. [...]

Waiting Game Begins On Google Book Search Settlement

The dust has settled from last week's Fairness Hearing on the proposed Google Book Search, and now all parties are playing a waiting game. Judge Denny Chin began the hearing by announcing -- to no one's surprise -- that he wouldn't be announcing a decision during or immediately after the hearing. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chin cited the "voluminous materials" submitted in the case and said he'll issue a written opinion later. "There's too much to digest," Chin said. In his coverage of the hearing, Gary Price notes that 21 of the 26 speakers during the hearing were against the se [...]

Google Gets Patent For Variable Content Access By Geography

Google was grated a patent that discusses a system of  determining content access privileges by country/geography.  While it undoubtedly has multiple uses, Google book scanning and search appears to be the primary intended use case. ArsTechnia brings it to our attention. Here's the patent summary: A system comprising: one or more devices to implement: means for receiving a search query from a user; means for selecting a document that includes terms from the search query; means for determining access privileges to the document for the user based on geographical location information of the [...]

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