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Google victory in Germany

German publisher Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft (WBG) has dropped its case against internet company Google, over the Google Books Library Project (the Project). The Project aims to digitise 15 million books and make them searchable online.

WBG wanted to stop Google scanning in copyrighted books for the Project without permission. Through the Project, Google have attempted to turn the well established copyright system on its head by requiring that publishers opt out of digitisation, as opposed to Google seeking permission to use copyright works. However, WBG rejected this and sought to ensure that Google got permission before scanning German titles that were still in copyright.

The issue is the author/publisher having the right to choose how their work is used against the "fair use" exception for the public to use the work.

WBG dropped their action for an injunction against the Project after the court ruled that there was no copyright infringement, and that WBG were unlikely to get the injunction.

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