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US Supreme Court Delivers Final Blow to Challengers of Google Books

  • VOA News

FILE - A scanner passes over a book at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 21, 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge that Google's digitizing of more than 20 million books amounted to copyright infringement.

FILE - A scanner passes over a book at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 21, 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge that Google's digitizing of more than 20 million books amounted to copyright infringement.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a challenge to Google's online book library from a group of authors who maintain the library hinders their ability to sell their books.

The justices let stand lower court rulings and dismissed a claim by The Authors Guild and individual authors that Google's digitizing of more than 20 million books amounts to "copyright infringement on an epic scale."

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed in October with a lower court that Google was not violating copyright laws as digitized and published online portions of books that amounted to no more than 16 percent of a book.

The appeals court said Google Books "does not threaten the rights of holders with any significant harm to the value of their copyrights or diminish their harvest of copyright revenue."

But the court acknowledged some book's sales would likely be reduced if people searched for a portion of a text.

The writers who sued Google in 2005 include former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton, who wrote "Ball Four," based on a diary of his 1969 season in Major League Baseball.

The Supreme Court's decision not to hear the challenge closes the door on the case, as it leaves the lower court rulings in place.

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