Google has been battling the Authors Guild in a class-action lawsuit that was filed by the Guild when they sued Google to stop scanning world libraries way back in 2005. The battle has been hard-fought with a judge in 2011 allowing every registered author in America to sue Google as a collective whole, a decision which Google quickly filed an appeal to.
A new ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned that decision and ordered the presiding judge Denny Chin to directly rule on whether Google's book scanning activities are considered fair use under the law or in violation of copyright law.
The process to determine whether the activities are fair use consists of a four-part test that will look at issues like the purpose of the scanning and how it directly and indirectly affects market sales. Google has already scanned more than 20 million books and asserts that doing this helps bring forgotten and hard-to-find books to the general public.