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Dennis Chin Ruling About the Authors Guild and Google Books

Dennis Chin Ruling About the Authors Guild and Google Books

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Published by Deepak Gupta (DG)

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Published by: Deepak Gupta (DG) on Jun 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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- against -:
GOOGLE, INC.,:05 Civ. 8136 (DC)10 Civ. 2977 (DC)Defendant.:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -xAMERICAN SOCIETY OF MEDIA:PHOTOGRAPHERS et al.,:Plaintiffs,:- against -:GOOGLE, INC.,:Defendant.:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
CHIN, Circuit Judge:
Before the Court are two motions. First, defendantGoogle, Inc. ("Google") moves to dismiss the claims of theassociational plaintiffs in both of these cases. Second, the
The Authors Guild is the only associational plaintiff
in the Authors Guild action. The associational plaintiffs in theAmerican Society of Media Photographers ("ASMP") action include:ASMP, the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council ofAmerica, the North American Nature Photography Association, andProfessional Photographers of America (collectively, the "ASMPAssociational Plaintiffs").
three representative plaintiffs in the Authors Guild action --Betty Miles, Joseph Goulden, and Jim Bouton (the "AGRepresentative Plaintiffs") -- move for class certification. Forthe reasons stated below, Google's motions to dismiss the claimsof the associational plaintiffs are denied, and the motion forclass certification in the Authors Guild case is granted.
BACKGROUND A.The Library Project
The following facts are not in dispute. In 2004,Google announced that it had entered into agreements with severalmajor research libraries to digitally copy books and otherwritings in their collections (the "Library Project"). Sincethen, Google has scanned more than 12 million books. (See ZackDecl. Ex. 7 at 3). It has delivered digital copies to theparticipating libraries, created an electronic database of books,and made text available for online searching. See Authors Guildv. Google, 770 F. Supp. 2d 666, 670 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) (citing EmilyAnne Proskine, Google's Technicolor Dreamcoat: A CopyrightAnalysis of the Google Book Search Library Project, 21 BerkeleyTech. L.J. 213, 220-21 (2006) (describing project)). Googleusers can search its "digital library" and view excerpts --"snippets" -- from books containing search results. Id. (See-2-
also Zack Decl. Ex. 7 at 3). For example, when a user enters asearch term on the Google Books website, Google displays a listof books containing that term. In many cases, when the userclicks on the link to a particular book, Google displays up tothree "snippets" of text from that book -- each about an eighthof a page -- each of which contains the search term. (See GratzDecl. Ex. 1; Zack Decl. Exs. 7, 10-12).Millions of the books scanned by Google were stillunder copyright, and Google did not obtain copyrightpermission to scan the books. Authors Guild, 770 F. Supp. 2d at670 & n.3.
B.The Authors Guild Action
In 2005, the Authors Guild and the AG RepresentativePlaintiffs (together, the "Authors Guild Plaintiffs") brought aclass action, charging Google with copyright infringement.Specifically, the Authors Guild Plaintiffs allege that byreproducing in-copyright books, distributing them to libraries,and publicly displaying "snippets" of those works for search,Google "is engaging in massive copyright infringement." (AG 4thAC 4). The AG Representative Plaintiffs seek damages andinjunctive and declaratory relief. The Authors Guild seeks onlyinjunctive and declaratory relief.-3-

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