After a nearly eight year battle stemming from a lawsuit brought on by authors accusing Google of digitally scanning books without permission, a judge has now officially sided with Google and dismissed the case. Reuters reports:

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan accepted Google’s argument that its scanning of more than 20 million books for an electronic database, and making “snippets” of text available for online searches, constituted fair use.

“In my view, Google Books provide significant public benefits,” Chin wrote.

The ultimate decision was essentially that by scanning snippets of books to use with Google Books or in search, Google was providing more benefits to the authors than disadvantages. The judge is also quoted as calling the service “an essential research tool” that creates new income for authors and lets users discover content. GigaOM got the following statement from Google, but the Authors Guild is yet to speak out on the decision:

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“This has been a long road and we are absolutely delighted with today’s judgement.  As we have long said Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and acts like a card catalog for the digital age – giving users the ability to find books to buy or borrow,” said a Google spokesperson by email.

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