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Authors Guild sues: Google Print a massive copyright infringement?

The Authors Guild, which represents 8,000 authors in the United States, has filed a class-action copyright infringement lawsuit [PDF] against Google in the Southern District of New York because of its Google Print program that makes books and other offline information searchable online. Google has contracted with several public and university libraries to create digital archives of the libraries' collections of books. The suit alleges that by reproducing a copy of these works that are not in the public domain, Google is engaging in massive copyright infringement. “This is a plain and brazen violation of copyright law,” said Authors Guild President Nick Taylor. “It’s not up to Google or anyone other than the authors, the rightful owners of these copyrights, to decide whether and how their works will be copied.”

In a first reaction, Google regrets "that this group chose to sue us over a program that will make millions of books more discoverable to the world -- especially since any copyright holder can exclude their books from the program." Google also did point out, that its programm "doesn’t show even a single page to users who find copyrighted books through this program (unless the copyright holder gives us permission to show more). At most we show only a brief snippet of text where their search term appears, along with basic bibliographic information and several links to online booksellers and libraries." 

  • September 21, 2005: Orlowski, Andrew, Authors sue Google, The Register:
    "The Authors Guild, along with a former US poet laureate, is suing Google for copyright infringement."

  • September 21, 2005: Google wegen "massiver Copyright-Verletzungen" verklagt, Heise:
    "Die Autorenvereinigung Authors Guild und einige einzelne Autoren haben gegen Google eine Sammelklage eingereicht."

  • September 20, 2005: Mills, Elinor, Authors Guild sues Google over library project, CNet:
    "The Authors Guild on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against search engine Google, alleging that its scanning and digitizing of library books constitutes a "massive" copyright infringement."

Also see the Google Print special coverage!




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