“Books Case” Comes To End

Andrew AlbaneseThe path leading to the marble steps of the United States Supreme Court building demands patience from all parties. When at last the journey ends, the justices offer no consolation other than their opinions.

On Monday this week, the long road ended for the Authors Guild in their copyright infringement case against Google. That suit began in 2005, and a generation later in Internet time, it concluded in favor of the Web giant.

“Mary Rasenberger, the Authors Guild executive director, said the court was ‘blinded’ by Google’s public benefit arguments,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. “And Authors Guild president Roxana Robinson added the denial was proof that we’re witnessing ‘a vast redistribution of wealth from the creative sector to the tech sector.’

“I guess you can make an argument that tech companies are profiting off others creative works,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “But to put that all on the backs of Google’s digitization was ill-advised, I believe.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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