Supreme Appeals

Andrew AlbaneseWilliam Howard Taft, the only American ever to serve both as President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, noted that “Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever.” That longevity has a lot to do with the lasting influence of important court rulings, and a little to do with the longevity of court cases that may take a decade or more to reach the highest bench in the land.

Attorneys representing two high-profile lawsuits from the book world may soon climb the famous stone steps on First Street. Just recently, the Authors Guild has appealed to the Supremes in its fight with Google over book scanning; likewise, Apple hopes the nine justices will hear its price-fixing case and reverse the rulings of other lower courts.

“Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild, and a copyright attorney herself, said that the case represents an important opportunity for the Supreme Court to clarify Fair Use for the digital age,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. “Rasenberger also noted the Supreme Court has not heard such a copyright case in over 20 years.”

“As for Apple, US Dept. of Justice attorneys had their own message in a contrasting brief to the Supreme Court – Don’t believe the hype,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “They argued that Apple’s appeal relies on ‘a sanitized version’ of the facts.”

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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