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Scott Turow on Google Ruling: One Big Step Closer to Justice for US Authors

Our book-scanning lawsuit against Google cleared a major hurdle today, as Judge Denny Chin certified the class of U.S. authors.  A copy of the decision is here.

“We’re one big step closer to justice being done for U.S. authors,” said Authors Guild president Scott Turow.

The class of authors includes all U.S. authors and their heirs with a copyright interest in books scanned by Google as part of its Library Project.  Google has scanned 12 million books in that project, the majority of which are believed to be protected by copyright.  Books from all over the world were copied, but U.S. works predominate.

Google’s liability for copyright infringement has not yet been determined by the court.  Google’s primary defense to infringement is that its actions are protected by fair use.  Judge Chin is scheduled to hear summary judgment motions on the case in September.

If Google is found liable for infringement, copyright law prescribes statutory damages for willful infringement of not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work.