Supreme Court won’t hear case against Google Books

Supreme Court won’t hear case against Google Books
© Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from the Authors Guild alleging that Google Books infringes upon writers' copyrighted works. 

ADVERTISEMENT
The high court’s decision not to hear the case means the lower court decision in favor of Google remains in place. Last October, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Google’s project falls within the limits of fair use. 

The order was handed down Monday. 

Monday’s news could finally shut the door on the case brought by a series of authors who sued over the decade-old project. Google, which makes digital copies of books picked out by major libraries and allows the public to search and view snippets online, estimated it could be out billions if it lost the case. 

Lower courts had ruled that Google's project falls within the limits of fair use because the works are meaningfully transformed and the project does not offer the public a meaningful substitute to buying the book. 

The 2nd Circuit Court ruled Google’s search function is a transformative use of the works and it expands the public’s knowledge. The court also ruled that Google’s profit motivations do not exclude it from fair use protections.