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.
“The Authors Guild filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which was argued on December 3, 2014. On October 16, 2015, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court and agreed that Google Books was a fair use. In April 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the Guild’s request that it review the case.”
“Of all the absurdities associated with the Authors Guild suit against Google over the Google Books Project, perhaps the greatest was the Guild’s efforts to make it a class action, with the 8,000 members of the Guild speaking for all authors everywhere in the world. Most academic authors realize that providing a keyword index to all published literature can only aid scholarship. At the same time, by making it easier to identify works that might be of interest, Google Books can only increase readership and sales of the original works. Yet at the time of the lawsuit, there was no organization that could speak for authors motivated by concerns that were not solely commercial. Now there is. On 21 May, the Authors Alliance was formally launched in San Francisco….“