Google Back in Court? French Publishers File Suit
Well, it looks like Google has ruffled some French feathers, where three major publishers filed a lawsuit against the company on May 6 for alleged trademark violations by its Google Book Search, according to an article by Beecher Tuttle on TechZone 360. This suit follows a December suit filed against Google by French publisher Éditions de La Martinière.
In fact Google has been facing complaints by La Martinière since 2006, when it filed a suit, with the help of France's National Publishers' Union, "to stop Google's scanning operation, claiming that even though the vast majority of the scanning is done in the United States, the law being broken is French," according to Law.com.
The 2006 lawsuit ended in a decision in 2009 against Google, requiring Google to pay EUR 300,000 "in fines for damages and an injunction forcing it to remove La Martinière books from its extracts service, forbading it from continuing to digitise books without rights-holders' authorization and requiring it to publish a copy of the decision on its website," according to a report on TelecomPaper.com. Google is reportedly contending the decision.
The three publishers in the new suit are "demanding 9.8 billion euros in damages ($14 billion), and Google has been issued a summons, a source in Gallimard's legal department told AFP," in a story reported by AFP, the French press agency.
Nearly 10,000 books have been scanned without authorization, according to various reports.
"The damages are for 'a fixed tariff of 1,000 euros per scanned book to which the publishers own the rights,' said the legal representative who asked not to be named," the AFP reported.
"That number does not include titles that were scanned since the lawsuit was filed nor those owned by the publishers' subsidiaries, according to TheBookSeller.com," reported Tuttle on TechZone 360.