Google has gone “too far” – claims a US Judge who has slammed closed the book on the search giant’s online library after recent revamps and expansion into a mobile phone version of the service.
Google Books provides readers with a huge selection of searchable books, magazines and scanned literature at a cost, but it now appears copyright laws were not properly met and reproductions were made without permission.
New York Judge Denny Chin states that the agreement between authors, publishers and Google did not validly exist and that the Books service is not legit.
Offered the chance to allow document owners to willingly donate their works to the service Google declined, claiming an agreement made between itself and the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers back in 2008 which supposedly permitted Google to continue running the service but to pay out an approximate total of $77m annually to rightful copyright owners. This appeal however was thrown out by Judge Chin.
It’s not surprising that something like this would arise with so much content on the Google Books service. But it is surprising that a company as reputable as Google didn’t really get the facts right on something as obvious as copyright law.
The service will still run in some form, with a Google rep stating “Regardless of the outcome, we’ll continue to work to make more of the world’s books discoverable online through Google Books and Google eBooks.”