Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not one to be the shadows of anyone, that is for sure. The company is getting involved in as many different sectors and sub-sectors of tech as possible and is looking to not just be competitive in those sectors, but be the company in control of the market. And part of having a brand that leads a market is to be out in front in terms of visibility and not to let anyone else's shadow overtake the brand.
But let's face it, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did take some of the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) when it comes to e-books; Apple stole the headlines for the past several weeks as it fought an e-book price-fixing charge against it and five e-book publishers claimed by the U.S. Department of Justice. But concurrently with that, Google has had its own e-book controversy surrounding its project to create the world's largest digital library. This case has gone to the federal appeals court so far.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) came under fire with claims of copyright infringement when the company began scanning published works and started compiling this digital library. A couple of writing guilds filed suit on behalf of their member writers, saying that Google infringed copyrights by scanning works and putting them in the library with the consent of the writers themselves. The guilds were pushing for class-action status for their member writers who have had their works already copied by Google. The initial ruling gave class status to the writers and the trial was slated to proceed as a class-action.
But Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) appealed that ruling and has further argued that it can use snippets of books in its online library listing as part of the "fair use" doctrine contained in copyright law. This case has gone this far because a judge in 2008 threw out a proposed $125 million settlement of the then-three-year-old case involving several writers' groups, saying that the settlement would have still given Google opportunities to take advantage of the content without requiring permission of those who held the copyrights.
The latest update in this case took things to the U.S. Second Court of Appeals.