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Google: 1, Authors: 0

A judge rules that Google Inc. can show "snippets" of books to the public without violating U.S. copyright law.

[Image: Flickr via user Joe Shlabotnik]

A U.S. Circuit Judge dismissed a lawsuit brought against Google Inc. by authors accusing the search engine of breaching copyright infringement laws. Judge Denny Chin's ruling came after several authors and publishers sued Google in 2005 for its plan to show digital "snippets" of text in online searches from a collection of more than 20 million books.

If the Authors Guild won, Google estimated it would have had to fork over an estimated $3 billion—the association of authors was demanding $750 for each scanned book. Chin said, the ruling was good "for libraries and researchers, because the opinion recognizes the public benefit of making books available."