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Last month, in Authors Guild v. Google,1 the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, on cross-motions for summary judgment, upheld Google’s fair use defense and accordingly dismissed infringement claims by the Authors Guild. The guild had asserted that (i) Google’s mass digitization of the collections of several large university libraries, (ii) its delivery of digitized versions of these collections to the libraries, and (iii) its display of “snippets” from the books in response to search requests, violated the authors’ exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution and public display under §106(1), (3) and (5) of the Copyright Act.2 In finding fair use, Judge Denny Chin, judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (here sitting as a district judge),3 emphasized the public benefits derived from the Google Books project, and the lack of harm to authors.

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