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In 2002, a 29-year-old computer scientist and entrepreneur in California named Larry Page decided that his young company, Google, should digitize every book in the world to make them searchable. Page asked an employee named Marissa Mayer to help test the idea by turning pages to the beat of a metronome as he snapped digital photos.

Results were good, and the project went public late in 2004. High profile partners such as New York Public Library and the libraries of Oxford and Harvard universities signed on. But in 2005 a series of legal challenges began that accused the company of copyright infringement and soon paralyzed the project. Last year, MIT Technology Review looked back at the effort and declared: “A decade after it began, Page’s bold project has stalled.”

Today Page’s bold project is back on track, after a federal judge in New York ruled that the effort is covered by “fair use” exceptions to copyright restrictions:

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