Wednesday, June 28, 2006
We're delighted that WBG, a German publisher, today decided to drop its petition for a preliminary injunction against the Google Books Library Project. WBG (whose legal action was supported by the German Publishers Association as an industry model) made the decision after being told by the Copyright Chamber of the Regional Court of Hamburg that its petition was unlikely to succeed.
It's our belief that the display of short snippets from in-copyright books does not infringe German copyright law. Today the Court indicated that it agreed, drawing a comparison with the snippets used in Google web search. And the Court also rejected the WBG's argument that the scanning of its books in the U.S. infringed German copyright law.
We've always recognized the importance of copyright, because we believe that authors and publishers deserve to be rewarded for their creative endeavors. And we specifically designed Google Book Search to respect copyright law - never showing more than two or three snippets around a search term without the publisher's prior permission, which they can give through our Partner Program. This is separate from the Library Project, the subject of this petition. By helping people to find and buy books, Book Search enables publishers to reach a much larger, and more global, audience.
Google is passionate about the digitization of books, which we believe benefits everyone by making the world's knowledge more accessible. And we're also passionate about being responsible partners who can work closely with our thousands of partners around the world – publishers, authors and libraries – to help make this dream a reality.
Update: changed title.