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Google Seeks Protection for Copying Books Without Permission

Google Inc., owner of the world’s largest search engine, tried to persuade a judge that digitally copying millions of books for online searches without authors’ permission is protected by copyright law.

The company argued today in federal court in Manhattan that the fair-use provision of the Copyright Act shields it from liability for infringement. Authors and a trade group oppose the project, claiming Google has taken away their rights for its own gain without compensating them.