French publishers sue Google for stealing books

Megalomaniacal search engine Google is accused of copyright infringement for scanning  thousands of books without permission, again.

A trio of French publishers are demanding compensation, with a lawsuit claiming that the firm has unlawfully uploaded thousands of texts to its online library without receiving permission from the owners. A situation Google seems happy to make a habit of.

The three publishers involoved are Gallimard, Flammarion and Albin Michel. They are calling for around $14 billion in damages from Google, having sued for forgery for the books, thought to total nearly 10,000.

The legal team representing the publishers said that the damages are for “a fixed tariff of 1,000 euros per scanned book to which the publishers own the rights”.

Google remains steadfast in its belief that it has done nothing illegal and has stayed well within copyright laws, rather patronisingly telling the publishers that it is “committed to working with publishers to help them develop their digital offering and to make their works accessible to Internet users in France abroad”.

Which means that the publishers have clearly got the wrong end of the stick and should be thanking Google for stea-… ‘bringing their books to a wider audience’.

Google has been sued by another French publisher back in 2009 over similar accusations, with a successful outcome.

The Authors Guild in the US also sued Google for copying millions of books without getting permission.