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Firm Files Amicus Brief in the United States Supreme Court on Behalf of Authors

By on Feb 9, 2016 |

On February 1, HMS attorneys Gloria Phares and Chris Strong filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court supporting the Authors Guild’s petition for a writ of certiorari in its case against Google over the use of copyrighted works in the Google Books Library Project, The Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., 15-849. The brief was filed on behalf of Malcom Gladwell, J.M. Coetzee, Stephen Sondheim, Tony Kushner, and thirteen other authors and dramatists from the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. The amici take the position that the mass digitization and distribution of millions of copyrighted works by Google requires review by the Supreme Court, because recent decisions have placed an undue emphasis on whether a use is “transformative” at the expense of other fair use factors; courts are failing to consider, in fair-use cases, the Court’s 2006 decision in eBay v. MercExchange, which changed the injunction standard in patent and copyright cases; and neither the Congress that passed the 1976 Copyright Act nor the Supreme Court that decided the last (1994) fair-use case was aware of the Internet and its potential for immediate duplication and distribution of copyrighted works. The brief is available here, and an article from The Guardian discussing the brief is available here.