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First off today, the BBC is reporting that Judge Denny Chin has issued a summary judgment in favor of Google in its case with the Authors Guild over Google Book Search.
The Authors Guild, along with the Publishers Guild, had sued Google in 2005 alleging that Google Book Search, which scanned and made millions of copyrighted books available for search (though only displaying snippets), was an infringement of their rights. However, after two attempted settlements were shot down by the court, the Publishers Guild reached their own settlement with Google, leaving the Authors Guild to fight on.
However, Judge Chin has sided with Google in this case, granting them a summary judgment and dismissing the case. According to Chin, Google Book Search is a fair use of the books involved and the service provides significant benefit to society. It is not known if the Authors Guild will appeal the ruling but it is very likely.
Next up today, IPKat reports that a judge has declined to issue an injunction against the famed graffiti art haven 5Pointz, allowing for the destruction of it, and the works painted on it, to continue.
5Pointz has been a popular tourist attraction in Queens where graffiti artists from all over the world have painted on what, until recently, was an abandoned series of buildings. The art was placed with the consent of the owner of the property and was curated by a volunteer staff. However, when the owner decided he wanted to destroy the buildings to make way for a new development, some of the artists sued claiming that the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) forbid the destruction of artistic works.
The judge overhearing the case initially gave a 10-day injunction to let him analyze the facts but, when he was done, he said he could not grant a permanent one, despite his personal feelings for the site. This paves the way for demolition to continue and the site to be destroyed.
Finally today, Amateur Photographer reports that Getty Images and the Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency are having their trial against a photographer start today.
The photographer, photojournalist David Morel, took several pictures of the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake only to have those photos lifted from his TwitPic account and used by both services.
A judge has already ruled that Morel’s rights were violated however a jury is set to determine whether the two agencies acted willfully in the infringement and set any damages. The trial is scheduled to last about a week.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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