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

|By:, SA News Editor

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.