Google's goal of scanning millions of out-of-print books for online access has drawn the ire of authors and publishers for years. Today, a US appeals court ruled that the practice is in fact legal. Claims of infringement brought by the Authors Guild and a group of writers were rejected by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The court says Google Books offers a public service by posting pieces of text online and that it doesn't encroach on laws that protect intellectual property. Instead, the practice falls under "fair use." This isn't the first time the legal system has sided with Mountain View, despite repeated attempts by authors, publishers and rival tech companies to combat the book-scanning project. Back in 2011, a $125 million settlement was rejected by a judge in New York who originally approved the deal in 2009 four years after the first lawsuit was filed. Perhaps today's ruling will be the last we hear of the Google Books saga. But then again, probably not.
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