Saturday, April 23, 2016

Google Case Ends, but Copyright Fight Goes On; Publishers Weekly, 4/22/16

Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly; Google Case Ends, but Copyright Fight Goes On:
"In a statement, Authors Guild officials called the Supreme Court’s denial a “colossal loss” for authors and bemoaned the “expansion of fair use” in the digital age. Executive director Mary Rasenberger suggested that the courts in the Google case were “blinded” by the “public-benefit arguments.” And Authors Guild president Roxana Robinson added that the Supreme Court’s denial was “further proof that we’re witnessing a vast redistribution of wealth from the creative sector to the tech sector.”
Others, however, including public advocacy group Public KnowIedge hailed the end of the litigation. “The Supreme Court’s decision to let the Second Circuit’s ruling stand reflects what we have long said, that fair use is a powerful and flexible doctrine that enables not only new works, but also innovative uses of existing works," said Raza Panjwani, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge. "This denial will hopefully lead to new efforts to expand our access to culture and knowledge through digital formats.”
Jonathan Band, an attorney for the library community agrees. "I don't know if anyone else will create another search database for books," he told PW, "but others will create search databases for other sorts of materials, to the benefit of public and the copyright owners."
But that theme—that the courts are enabling the tech sector to unfairly build its value off the backs of creators—has become an animating principle in a copyright policy fight that is slowly beginning to take shape. And while the Google case may have ended in the courts, the copyright fight in the policy arena is likely just getting started...
“I think it hurts them,” [Grimmelmann] said. “The way they lost this case, by litigating this through to four resounding fair-use decisions, the last of which was written by Pierre Leval [considered the nation’s foremost jurist on fair use], it’s hard to imagine any way to lay down stronger bricks for fair use than that.”"

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