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Google Book Search: Copyright Infringement? November 2005 - December 2006


November 2005

  • Google starts publishing the full-text of public domain/out-of-copyright print works it has acquired through the Google Print library scanning project.

  • Google resumes scanning books of all types (including in-copyright materials) from the five libraries they're working with. See: Discovering hard-to-find books, Google Blog

  • On November 17, 2005, Google changes the name of the service from Google Print to Google Book Search.


February 2006


June 2006

  • Publishers spoke out against the project during the All Party Internet Group's report on digital rights management: "There is the serious issue of the digitization of massive library collections where the majority of works are in copyright. Google digitizes entire books, not just indexing but displaying the entire work." (Hugh Jones)

  • Google's first legal victory in the battles over its Google Books Library Project: WBG, a German publisher, droped its petition for a preliminary injunction against the Google Books Library Project after being told by the Copyright Chamber of the Regional Court of Hamburg that its petition was unlikely to succeed. The court indicated that the display of short snippets from in-copyright books and the scanning of the books in the U.S. does not infringe German copyright law.

  • June 28, 2006: Germany and the Google Books Library Project, Google Blog

  • French publisher La Martiniere June 6 filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company's book indexing service amounts to "counterfeiting" and "breach of intellectual property rights" (Editions du Seuil v. Google Inc., Tribunal de Grand Instance de Paris). The plaintiff claims that more than 100 copyright protected works have been digitized and made available to the public without its permission.


August 2006

  • The University of California joins Google's book-scanning project

  • Google Book Search offers PDF files of scanned out of copyright books that can be downloaded and printed for free


September 2006

  • Spain's venerable Universidad Complutense de Madrid joins Google's Books Library Project


October 2006

  • Google said that it will subpoena two of its fiercest competitors, Yahoo! and Microsoft, for information relating to their own book scanning operations (Microsoft and Yahoo have joined up to build their own book search with an organization called the Open Content Alliance) as part of the case against the The Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild (for more information see The Register)

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison is the next university to join Google's Book Search Project. The University has one of the largest collections of historical documents and books in the US, accounting for about 7.2 million holdings (University of Wisconsin-Madison has their release here and Google has their release here and Reuters has their article here).

  • Motions for summary judgments in Authors Guild v Google have been delayed at Google's request, and will not be filed until January 2008.

  • The Authors Guild filed its lawsuit against Google on Sept. 20, 2005, a group of major book publishers led by The McGraw Hill Companie filed their's against Google a month later. U.S. District Judge John Sprizzo on October 12, 2006 consolidated the two cases. There will just be one discovery phase to determine what's to be presented in both cases.

  • The French publishers union, Le Syndicat National de l'Edition (SNE), has joined book publisher Le Martiniere Groupe in its copyright suit against Google (CNet /


November 2006

  • The University of Virginia (UVA) is the ninth partner to join the Google Books Library Project (Library Journal)


December 2006

  • Yahoo! has refused to provide Google with details of its book digitising programme that Google believes could help it to defend itself in the lawsuit against the Author's Guild. has already turned down a similar request (The Register)


Google Print / Google Book Search

Google Print: December 2003 - August 2004

Google Print - Let the legal battle begin: September / October 2005

Google Book Search - November 2005 - 2006

Google Book Search - January 2007 -

Google Book Search - Articles

Google's Library Partners


Search Engine Law Overview


Masthead/Curriculum Vitae
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