Google And Copyright Infringement


Google, back in 2004, began an endeavor to index the contents of an enormous number of books through its search engine, so that google users would be able to full text search books that were otherwise unpublished on the internet. Under U.S. Copyright law, books that were published before the 1920's (and certain texts published after that time that did not comply with the renewal requirements and were not saved by the Copyright Act of 1976) are in the public domain and can be freely copied without the need of prior consent or the paying of royalties to the author or his/her estate. Hence, you can find a copy of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on google's book search, because Mr. Gibbon originally wrote the manuscript well before the earliest date that the book could be protected by current U.S. Copyright law. Of course, what got google into trouble was not long dead authors but very alive ones (or ones whose estate or a third party owned a valid copyright to the work), which led to a lawsuit against google in federal court in 2005 by several named plaintiffs and an association, the Author's Guild, who represents over 8,000 other authors.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Timothy Faith | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.