By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 4-18-16
The major Hollywood studios were not pleased Monday after the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a decision that it was OK for Google to digitize millions of books and make them available online without compensating the copyright holders.
In a blog post after the High Court denied cert, the Copyright Alliance, whose members include Disney, Sony, Universal and Viacom, said the court had missed a “golden opportunity” to at least clarify how the fair use doctrine should apply to digital media and new technologies for which it argues there is no adequate fair use test.
The alliance says that the court’s ruling was based on the “dubious” finding that “Google’s mass digitizing effort was a fair use because the Google Books project conveys ‘information’ about the works to users and therefore transforms the books.”
The court relied on the “transformative use” test to draw that conclusion based on a 20-year-old decision that the more a work was transformed, the fewer other factors have to be met for it to be considered fair use. One of those factors is the creation of a new, expressive, work, which studios argue didn’t happen by Google simply digitizing the works. » Read More