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Authors Guild v. Google Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Defendant Google Inc. scanned millions of books into an electronic database without obtaining permission from the copyright owners.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    If an infringer sells copyrighted works for profit without the copyright holder’s consent, it is not fair use.

    Facts.

    Defendant Google Inc. scanned millions of books into an electronic database without obtaining permission from the copyright owners. Plaintiffs various authors and publishers brought a class-action lawsuit against Google. Google claimed fair use.

    Issue.

    If an infringer sells copyrighted works for profit without the copyright holder’s consent, is it fair use?

    Held.

    No.

    Dissent.

    N/a

    Concurrence.

    N/a

    Discussion.

    In this case, placing the burden on copyright holders to opt out in order to protect copyrighted works is inconsistent with the purpose of copyright laws. Some authors will be unaware of the need to come forward. Google cannot use the ASA settlement agreement to use unauthorized copyright work.


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