Thursday, April 28, 2016

Google Books Can Keep Scanning Copyrighted Titles

Google get to continue digitizing books, making sections of them available online for free ("Supreme Court Declines to Hear Google Books Case," PC Magazine, April 18, 2016). Lower court opinion stands that even though Google did not ask for authors' permission, it is not acting against copyright laws by scanning and uploading newer books, since it only provides a look at them instead of full access as it does for older titles in the public domain. Google called its service a "card catalog for the digital age," an valid application of fair use. The Authors Guild argued for creators' rights in this litigation.

Discussion Questions:
  1. Do you use Google Books to find answers to research questions? Do you think your free use of copyrighted and public domain titles in Google Books is fair to the writers and publishers of that information? Why or why not?
  2. Do you use Google Books to decide whether you want to purchase a book? Do you think Google Books promotes the interests of authors by making portions of their books available online for free? Why or why not?

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