Google Book Search Wins Victory In German Challenge

I wrote earlier this month of a French lawsuit becoming the third one I knew about filed against Google over its book scanning project. Turns out, there was a fourth one -- based out of Germany. But now we're back to three, as Google has just announced that the German one has been withdrawn.

It looks to be Google's first legal victory in the battles over the project. From Google, via its Inside Google Book Search blog (and also on its main blog):

WBG, a German publisher, today decided to drop its petition for preliminary injunction against the Google Books Library Project. WBG (whose legal action was supported by the German Publishers Association as an industry model) made the decision after being told by the Copyright Chamber of the Regional Court of Hamburg that its petition was unlikely to succeed.

It's our belief that the display of short snippets from in-copyright books does not infringe German copyright law. Today the Court indicated that it agreed, drawing a comparison with the snippets used in Google web search. And the Court also rejected the WBG's argument that the scanning of its books in the U.S. infringed German copyright law.