In a filing with the district court, the Authors Guild gave notice that it is appealing Judge Denny Chin’s to dismiss its copyright suit over Google’s library scanning program. There was no brief filed at this time, only a basic notice of appeal to the Second Circuit. But the filing makes good on the Authors Guild’s vow to file an appeal.
In a statement following the decision, Authors Guild executive director Paul Aiken told PW that Chin’s decision represented “a fundamental challenge to copyright that merits review by a higher court.” Aiken claims that Google’s unauthorized mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of the fair use defense.”
The appeal could be complicated by fact that the Second Circuit is already preparing to rule on a parallel case, the Authors Guild vs. HathiTrust. In that case, the Authors Guild sued a collective of Google’s library scanning partners, but, like Chin, Judge Harold Baer delivered an emphatic summary judgment ruling against the guild. And in a hearing in late October, the Appeals Court seemed likely to affirm that ruling.
In his November decision, Chin not only dismissed the case against Google, he delivered a ringing endorsement of Google’s scanning program. “In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits,” Chin wrote. “It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.”
Chin’s decision came after more than eight years of legal wrangling—including three years spent unsuccessfully stumping together for a controversial settlement.
In October of 2012, publishers dropped their lawsuit against Google after a settlement.