The Congress shall have Power …To promote the Progress of Science
and useful Arts, by securing for limited Tımes to Authors and Inventors
the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8
Two and a half years later, the Google Books case has bubbled to the top of the court docket. In 2004, Google began its controversial book scanning project with its partners, the NYPL and the Library of Congress. The Authors Guild immediately sued saying Google was distributing copyright-protected content freely on the web. Well, in 2011, Judge Chin ruled in favor of Google citing the benefits of the collection of digital excerpts and calling the digital images a transformative use of the written word as they were being used as a search mechanism, not in their sit-down-and-read-a-book sense. Fast forward to November 2013 and Judge Chin elaborates even further on his earlier ruling, citing the public benefits this new platform delivers.
In my view, Google Books provides significant public
benefits. It advances the progress of the arts and sciences,
while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of
authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely
impacting the rights of copyright holders. It has become an
invaluable research tool that permits students, teachers,
librarians, and others to more efficiently identify and locate
books. It has given scholars the ability, for the first time, to
conduct full-text searches of tens of millions of books. It
preserves books, in particular out-of-print and old books that
have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries, and it gives them
new life. It facilitates access to books for print-disabled and
remote or underserved populations. It generates new audiences
and creates new sources of income for authors and publishers.
Indeed, all society benefits.
excerpt from Judge Denny Chin’s ruling