The lawsuit asked the court to block Google from copying the books so the authors would not suffer irreparable harm by being deprived of the right to control reproduction of their works. It sought class-action status on behalf of anyone or any entity with a copyright to a literary work at the University of Michigan library.
How will pre-Internet copyrights hold up in the 21st Century? The New York Public Library and the libraries at Harvard, Stanford, Univ. of Michigan and Oxford all contribute their holdings to Google’s scanning project.