French court rules Google guilty over book copying

The court found against Google after the La Martiniere group, which controls the highbrow Editions du Seuil publishing house, argued that publishers and authors were losing out in the latest stage of the digital revolution. It ordered Google to pay €300,000 ($431,700) in damages and interest and to stop digital reproduction of the material. La Martiniere, the French Publishers’ Association and authors’ groups SGDL had argued that scanning books was an act of reproduction that should be paid for and had demanded the US company be fined €15 million.

They accused Google of scanning the books free of charge, letting users browse the content for free, reaping revenues from advertisers but not adequately compensating the creators and original publishers of the works.

“Even if we can’t undo the process of digitalisation, this means they cannot use any of the digitised material any more,” Yann Colin, lawyer for La Martiniere told Reuters.
He said that even if Google decided to appeal, the ruling would be enforced immediately. As electronic readers gain popularity and online libraries expand, companies and governments are keen to learn from the mistakes that the film and music businesses made when their content moved online.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry