Here is some good news for Google and for fans of the Google Books Library Project
. In the fight over digitizing books, the search giant won a court battle against German publisher Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft
, who, after a judge told them that they were unlikely to get a preliminary injunction, decided to drop the case. The court also ruled that there was no copyright violation stemming from the project. From the Official Google Blog
It's our belief that the display of short snippets from in-copyright books does not infringe German copyright law. Today the Court indicated that it agreed, drawing a comparison with the snippets used in Google web search. And the Court also rejected the WBG's argument that the scanning of its books in the U.S. infringed German copyright law.
The German court decision has no influence on lawsuits in other European countries. In France, for instance, publishing group Le Martiniere is still suing
Google for "counterfeiting and breach of intellectual property rights" and asking them for USD$128,000 for each of the about 100 books involved and for each day's delay. And since we all how much French officials love Google, it's probably not going to be as easy a win as it was in Germany.