Alphabet Inc (GOOG)’s Google’s Clash with Authors Head to the Supreme Court

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Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Google could face off with Authors Guild in the Supreme Court, at least, if the top court in the land admits an appeal against the Internet giant. The Authors Guild is resurrecting a lawsuit that they recently lost against Google in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, but the group seems to be aiming higher in the latest move.

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Google is being accused of copyright violation stemming from its scanning of some 20 million books and making the content available on its websites. It recently looked like the dispute between Google and the authors was settled when the appeals court unanimously ruled that the company was within its rights to scan other people’s books and post them online.

Google earns praises
However, the apparently dissatisfied Authors Guild is not letting the matter to rest. The group is now seeking the audience of the Supreme Court, claiming that there were contradictions in the ruling of the appeals court that sided with Google. Not only did the appeals court unanimously agreed with Google’s position in the dispute, but also praised the company for its transformative move. In particular, the court believes that Google’s book scanning practice adds to research.

10-year legal battle
The push and pull between Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Google and Authors Guild goes back to at least 10 years.

What the authors want
The authors taking Google to court over the book scanning issue aren’t entirely opposed to the practice. In other words, they think Google can go on scanning books as long as it agrees to pay copyright fee for books/content it uses.

Penetrating the Supreme Court wall
Some have expressed doubt whether the Authors Guild will get away with its wish at the Supreme Court. Matters are complicated for the authors by the fact that the top court hardly accepts appeals. Typically, the Supreme Court admits less than 1% of the appeals that it receives, which may suggest that getting the court to hear the dispute is already a daunting task for the Authors Guild.

Pain in the flesh for Google
In the event that the Authors Guild successfully argues its case against Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Google in the Supreme Court, the company could be in for a serious pain. The copyright law is said to be so draconian that it allows those whose rights have been infringed to seek as much as $150,000 in compensation for for every violation. With Google having scanned about 20 million books, losing the copyright case to the Authors Guild could introduce dramatically hefty penalties for the company.