The legal fight over Google's effort to create a digital library of millions of book is finally over.
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge from authors who had argued that the tech giant's project was "brazen violation of copyright law" — effectively ending the decade-long legal battle in Google's favor.
Without the Supreme Court taking up the case, a federal appeals court ruling from October, which found the book scanning program fell under the umbrella of fair use, will stand.
Back in 2004, Google started scanning millions of books from major research libraries — creating a vast database from the digitized copies known as Google Books. Users can search Google Books for quotes or keywords, and it will display paragraphs or pages of context for the results from within the books.
The Authors Guild started complaining about the project in 2005, arguing that Google Books had undermined writers by putting their work online for free.
I'm not sure where I stand on this decision. Having used their digital library for academic research, it is amazing and for someone with my average tech knowledge, there's no way I can copy a whole text. It is incredible just how big this Google initiative has become. If you haven't tried it, I thoroughly recommend you give it a go. It's very user-friendly and accessible. As it stands now, you can only read pages at a time and the search function is awesome.
Here's a quick example. I search for Wilfred Owen and after finding 87 books, I selected this one. You can see how good the quality is.
To have a go for yourself, google "Google Books" and away you read!