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Google roundup: book-scanning verdict, solar plants, Tizen

  • Google (GOOG +0.3%) has scored a big legal win in its 8-year copyright dispute with the Authors Guild over its scanning/indexing of 20M books, with the purpose of making them available via Google Books.
  • Circuit Judge Denny Chin declares Google Books "provides significant public benefits," preserving decaying text copies and and helping readers discover new titles. He also argues Google's book-scanning qualifies as fair use since it doesn't make full copies available online.
  • The WSJ reports Google and KKR are jointly investing $400M in six California and Arizona solar plants. Google's portion of the investment is said to total $80M. The company has already made a series of solar/wind investments in an effort to become carbon-neutral (not an easy task for a company running over a dozen giant data centers).
  • Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY), intent on lowering its enormous dependence on Google's mobile OS, apps, and services, has announced 36 more partners for its Tizen OS; the list includes eBay, Panasonic, and game developer Konami. However, no Tizen phones have hit the market yet - Samsung once promised multiple 2013 phone launches - and carrier partner Orange has backtracked on a promise to offer Tizen phones this year.
  • With Gartner and IDC each assigning Android an 80%+ Q3 smartphone share, and with Android phones sporting ~$100 unsubsidized prices now easy to find in emerging markets, Tizen and other would-be Android rivals (such as Firefox OS) face an uphill battle.
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