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Judge Certifies Authors as Class in Google Book-Scanning Lawsuit

In a setback to Google, which has been fighting two long-running lawsuits over its ambitious book-scanning projects, Judge Denny Chin on Thursday denied the company’s requests to dismiss professional associations as plaintiffs, and granted a motion to accord members of the Authors Guild status as a class in the lawsuit brought by three of its members. The second suit involves the American Society of Media Photographers and other photography associations. The two cases draw on a set of copyright claims brought against the HathiTrust digital repository, partner universities, and Google, which has scanned more than 12 million books since 2004, often without obtaining copyright permission. Judge Chin, who has presided over the case since he was a district-court judge and is now a federal appellate judge, said in an opinion that “given the sweeping and undiscriminating nature of Google’s unauthorized copying, it would be unjust to require that each affected association member litigate his claim individually.”

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