Publishers Sue Google On Book Search


A day after Google announced the opening of eight European sites for its ambitious book search project, the Association of American Publishers has filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging the Internet company’s plans to scan and digitally distribute the text of major library collections would violate copyright protections.

This came after the talks between the two parties didn’t make any headway…the suit was filed on behalf of five major publisher members of AAP: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson Education, Penguin Group (USA), Simon & Schuster and John Wiley & Sons.

AAP President and former Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder: “While authors and publishers know how useful Google’s search engine can be and think the Print Library could be an excellent resource, the bottom line is that under its current plan Google is seeking to make millions of dollars by freeloading on the talent and property of authors and publishers.”

The AAP suit follows a similar action by the Authors Guild, which sued Google last month over the library project. The AAP suit seeks a declaration by the court that Google commits infringement when it scans entire books covered by copyright and a court order preventing Google from doing so without permission from copyright owners. The publishers said they had proposed that Google use the ISBN numbering system to identify works under copyright and secure permission from publishers and authors. “Google flatly rejected this reasonable proposal,” the publishers said, adding, “Google left our members no choice but to file this suit.”

Google’s official response: “Creating an easy to use index of books is fair use under copyright law and supports the purpose of copyright: to increase the awareness and sales of books directly benefiting copyright holders. This short-sighted attempt to block Google Print works counter to the interests of not just the world’s readers, but also the world’s authors and publishers.”

More details in the AAP release here and the actual lawsuit PDF here (PDF file)

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