The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an April 18 appeal from the Authors Guild and several prominent writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Sondheim and Tony Kushner, who argued that Google has engaged in copyright infringement by scanning their works and making them available digitally.
While sections of the books are available and searchable, individuals cannot search and read an entire work, according to the report.
The authors petitioned that Google had scanned the books for profit, and that a lower court’s ruling—which also sided with Google—threatened the integrity of copyrighted material in the digital age.
According to WSJ, many books in the Google database are out of print, or in public domain. However, a large number of the books are still under copyright and authors say that Google never received permission to scan their work.