An eleven-year legal battle between Google and an authors’ group has ended with a ruling in Google’s favour.
The US Supreme Court said it would not hear an appeal from the Authors Guild, which claimed Google breached copyright laws by scanning books.
The search giant began curating a searchable database of books in 2004, but was sued by the Authors Guild and some individual authors in 2005.
The Supreme Court’s judgement is the final ruling on the matter.
Google’s database of books lets people search through millions of titles and read extracts and selected pages from them.
While some of the books in the database are old titles that are no longer protected by copyright, millions are more recent publications.
The Authors Guild had argued that the project undermined authors’ ability to make money from their work.
Google said its database was a “fair use” of protected works, describing it as “a card catalogue for the digital age”.
The firm could have faced billions of dollars in damages claims from authors if it had lost the case.
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