Thursday, January 1, 2015

Google lands into controversy

Google has landed into controversy with regard to its services, Google Books and Google News. Authors Guild has filed a lawsuit contending copyright violation and objecting three sentence “snippet” of a book that is reproduced by the search engine.

The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court dismissed the contention and held that the concept of snippet is highly transformative and falls within the ambit of “fair use” in copyright law. The Manhattan Court heard the arguments by way of an appeal. The approach of the bench seemed to favour the defendants stressing on extreme liberal approach of fair use. Judge Level is of the view that most classic fair use cases were based on activities that were commercial in nature.

The aspect that needs to be focused here is the traditional jurisprudence on fair use. According to it, mere reproduction in the absence of any value addition would not constitute fair use in such a profit-making scenario. Google Books makes no value addition to the book.

-Shambhavi Mishra