Whatever you think of Google as a company, the book-scanning decision is the right one


On Thursday, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Denny Chin handed down a decision in one of the longest-running copyright cases in recent memory: namely, the lawsuit launched by the Authors’ Guild against Google (s goog), claiming that its book-scanning project amounted to a massive case of copyright infringement. Chin, however, ruled that the project is protected under the “fair use” principle, since there are clear public benefits to the indexing of millions of books.

Over the past few years (the case was originally launched in 2005) the Authors Guild has won support for its case from Google critics who believe that the web giant has amassed too much power — the same critics who have pushed for repeated antitrust investigations of the company’s quasi-monopoly in the search and internet-advertising markets, among other things.

But regardless of whether you believe Google is too big for its britches, and is trying to…

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