CRS Analyzes Google Book Search Case
“How the court (or courts) that consider this case define the issues presented will ultimately determine whether the suit against Google sets an important precedent in copyright law. Viewed expansively, the court may find that copying to promote online searching and indexing of literary works is a fair use. To many observers, such a holding could be the jurisprudential equivalent of [Sony Corp of America vs. Universal Studio’s] sanctioning of ‘time shifting.’
“If the court adopts a more narrow view of fair use that precludes Google’s digitization project, searchable literary databases are likely to evolve in a less comprehensive manner but with the input and control of rights holders who view them as desirable and participate accordingly.”
Robin Jeweler. The Google Book Search Project: Is Online Indexing a Fair Use Under Copyright Law? (.pdf, 37 KB) Congressional Research Service. Dec. 28, 2005.
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