Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for November 15, 2013
People Should Read Ta-Nehisi Coates on "Conventional Views", Richard Cohen, and the Washington Post

Judge Denny Chin Approves of Google Books as It Is Currently Constituted...

Good to see. The plaintiffs here have done, I think, a bad thing by delaying and trying to further delay the evolution of the Universal Online Library of Humanity. It would be better if the Library of Congress had done it rather than Google, but the Bush Administration and the Congress dropped the ball. It would have been much better had the plaintiffs settled with Google--they would be better off, and all of us reader would be much better off, than they are now:

Judge Denny Chin: Google Summary Judgment:

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.

Similarly, Google is entitled to summary judgment with respect to plaintiffs' claims based on the copies of scanned books made available to libraries. Even assuming plaintiffs have demonstrated a prima facie case of copyright infringement, Google's actions constitute fair use here as well. Google provides the libraries with the technological means to make digital copies of books that they already own. The purpose of the library copies is to advance the libraries' lawful uses of the digitized books consistent with the copyright law. The libraries then use these digital copies in transformative ways. They create their own full-text searchable indices of books,maintain copies for purposes of preservation, and make copies available to print-disabled individuals, expanding access for them in unprecedented ways. Google's actions in providing the libraries with the ability to engage in activities that advance the arts and sciences constitute fair use.

To the extent plaintiffs are asserting a theory of secondary liability against Google, the theory fails because the libraries' actions are protected by the fair use doctrine. Indeed, in the HathiTrust case, Judge Baer held that the libraries' conduct was fair use. See Authors Guild, Inc. v.HathiTrust, 902 F. Supp. 2d 445, 460-61, 464 (S.D.N.Y. 2012) ("I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made by Defendants' [Mass Digitization Project] and would require that I terminate this invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts that at the same time effectuates the ideals espoused by the[Americans with Disabilities Act]."). The fair use analysis set forth above with respect to Google Books applies here as well to the libraries' use of their scans, and if there is no liability for copyright infringement on the libraries' part, there can be no liability on Google's part.

CONCLUSION For the reasons set forth above, plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment is denied and Google's motion for summary judgment is granted. Judgment will be entered in favor of Google dismissing the Complaint. Google shall submit a proposed judgment, on notice, within five business days hereof.

SO ORDERED. Dated: November 14, 2013 New York, New York.
Denny Chin
United States Circuit Judge Sitting By Designation