Google is not violating copyright laws by digitizing books for a massive online library, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in a decade long dispute by authors worried that the project would spoil the market for their books.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan agreed with a judge who concluded that the snippets Google showed customers from its database did not violate copyright laws.
Judge Denny Chin ruled in November 2013 that Google digitization of over 20 million books, mostly out-of-print titles, did not violate copyrights because the Mountain View, Calif.-based company only showed short sections of the books in its database. Chin had said it would be difficult for anyone to read any of the works in their entirety by repeatedly entering different search requests.
The appeals court agreed, saying: "Google has constructed the snippet feature in a manner that substantially protects against its serving as an effectively competing substitute for plaintiffs' books."