The Supreme Court has dismissed the case filed against Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) by the Authors Guild.
The case was filed by the Authors Guild more than ten years ago, and Google is relieved that the case has finally been put to rest. The Authors Guild filed the lawsuit against the tech company after it decided to scan at least 20 million library books. The Guild has taken the case to different courts over time including a district court, a federal appeal court and the Supreme Court where it was finally dismissed on Monday.
The Supreme Court did not provide a reason for the decision, but it gave a short order stating that it would not welcome an appeal from the Authors Guild. The Supreme Court supported the decisions of the lower courts which found that Google’s decision to scan the books was “fair use” and could be beneficial to many because the books would be available to a larger demography.
The decision of the court is bad news to highly acclaimed writers such as J.M. Coetzee and Margaret Atwood, who had signed the brief that convinced the Supreme Court to hear the case. However, Google claims that the move is good even for the esteemed authors because the repository will allow anyone from any part of the world to gain access to their work through the internet. The company claims that making the books digitally available makes it easier to democratize information of knowledge. It also makes it easier for researchers, scholars, and readers.
If the court’s decision on the matter were different, then the Authors Guild would have overseen the closure of Google’s efforts on scanning the books as well as the removal of the books from an online presence. The argument that has been brought forward is that the company took the books without authorization from the authors. However, a counter argument has been brought forward that the firm has not been benefiting at the expense of the authors.