Lawsuit Against Google Books

by Rizwan A

This article talks about how digitizing, archiving, copying of print media is becoming one of the largest infringements in history. One that is the most notable digital infringements is Google’s Books project. Google Books became an easy access for anyone to find references to their millions of books and magazines. Of these books many are claimed to be illegally scanned by Google, which then gives their database of books to HathiTrust, a partnership of universities and libraries. There are some groups of writer unions, who have filed a lawsuit against Google stating that Google Books is publishing copyrighted works without the author’s authorization. Currently, there are about 7 million plus books from Google that are claimed to be illegally scanned, because these scans were unauthorized, the writers are seeking to withdraw all the illegally scanned books from Google’s database. Google is currently offering the authors to either sign a contract which gives them their share or remove their book from their database. If the authors do not contact Google, the books will become available to the public. According to the article the lawsuit is still active as of September 15, 2011 and hopefully in the interest of every one, Google and the writer unions will reach an agreement soon.


The article relates to the topic, database, because as mentioned in this article Google scans different kinds of text print references into their database and publish them online for the public. Currently Google has stored over millions of books onto their database and giving it out to the public as free access. By storing these books onto their database, it gives an easy way for people to search and read books more conveniently. As a result of providing free instant access to books and magazines, Google is being sued to remove the copy righted books that were not authorized by the author from their database.

Personally, I am not against Google’s “infringement” acts, because by giving free instant access to reference materials online they provide a convenient way for everyone to access information. Google is offering the authors a good amount of share profit gained from visitors viewing their book. And, if the authors are still not satisfied then they could contact Google and have their book removed from their database. I do not think this is an act of infringement because it could just be a fair use of the book. Most of the books are just excerpts which will require one to purchase the book if one wants to continue reading it. I think this lawsuit will end eventually since Google is already giving money to the authors and they should be happy to receive part of their shares.

Murray, Peter. “Google Brings Books, Authors Guild Brings Lawsuit.” Singularity 27 Sept. 2011. Web. 3 June 2012.


3 thoughts on “Lawsuit Against Google Books

  • June 3, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I am not sure about others, but i personally rarely go to Google books for reference. I usually go to the websites of the library. But i am assuming there is a demand for it. Google is a vast database, and i know they have faced numerous lawsuits against them. Firms such as Microsoft, apple, HP etc have filed lawsuits against Google. I think it’s one of those things that is bad and we need it. But yes, for the betterment of everyone hopefully they reach an agreement.

  • June 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I agree with your personal beliefs! Like any one else i also appreciates the information provided by Google and if someone does not like it they can simply ask to get their information removed or blocked..

  • June 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Google’s statement is that the internet is a public knowledge and google will always offer “free” stuff to the public. Google books is a good reference source and I feel that authors of books should be glad that google is showing their books because like Rizwan mentioned, Google only publishes excerpts of the books which will make the reader to buy the entire book. Google is just advertising the books and also paying the authors for any profits from google ads.

Comments are closed.