Google library book project held to be a fair use under copyright law

A federal district court has upheld Google's library book project as an authorized fair use under the federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §101 et esq., Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 2013 WL 6017130 (S.D.N.Y. 2013). The court upheld the power of Google to scan copyrighted books held by libraries and to give those libraries digital copies of those scans. It also upheld Google's power to make the text of those books searchable so that researchers could view snippets of those books and could search the books for particular phrases, words or concepts. The court ruled both practices to constitute a fair use, 17 U.S.C. §107. In determining that the ability to search the digital copies and to view snippets was a fair use, the court found that the use was transformative, did not supplant or supersede the originals, and was not designed to make a profit.