The Foxfire of Fair Use: The Google Books Litigation and the Future of Copyright Law – infojustice

Abstract:  This article considers the dynamic evolution of copyright exceptions and limitations in the United States in light of new technological developments. There has been significant legal debate in the courts and in the United States Congress in respect of the scope of the defence of fair use. The copyright litigation over Google Books has been a landmark development in the modern history of copyright law. The victory by Google Inc. over The Authors Guild in the decade long copyright dispute is an important milestone on copyright law. The ruling of Leval J emphasizes the defence of fair use in the United States plays a critical role in promoting transformative creativity, freedom of speech, and innovation. The Supreme Court of the United States was decisive in its rejection of The Authors Guild’s efforts to challenge the decision of Leval J. There has been significant debate in the United States Copyright Office and United States Congress over the development of ‘the Next Great Copyright Act’. Hearings have taken place within the United States Congressional system about the history, nature, and future of the defence of fair use under United States copyright law. There remains much debate about the internationalisation of the defence of fair use, and the need for the trading partners of the United States to enjoy similar flexibilities in respect of copyright exceptions. There has been concern about the impact of mega-regional trade agreements – such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership – upon copyright exceptions – such as the defence of fair use.