Google wins decade-long book-scanning lawsuit

A photo of the Google Inc. logo is shown on a computer screen in San Francisco. Reuters.

Google's seemingly-interminable legal fight over its book-scanning project is over, for now: a judge ruled that the effort is fair use, tossing a lawsuit first filed by the Authors Guild and others nearly a decade ago.

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan accepted Google's argument that its scanning of more than 20 million books, and making "snippets" of text available online, constituted "fair use" under U.S. copyright law. The decision, if it survives an expected appeal, would let Google continue expanding the library, which it said helps readers find books they might not otherwise locate."This is a big win for Google, and it blesses other search results that Google displays, such as news or images," said James Grimmelmann, a University of Maryland intellectual property law professor who has followed the case.

Google had proposed a $125m settlement in 2008. Its adversaries now receive an animated GIF of Gene Wilder from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

You heard the man.