French Publisher Sues Google

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A French publishing group is the latest to take action against Google, this time for publishing book excerpts online without permission. French publishing house La Martiniere is accusing the online media giant of “counterfeiting and breach of intellectual property rights” by digitizing about 100 of its titles.

Through its Print subsidiary, Google is scanning millions of books, allowing users to access the full text of works in the public domain or extracts from those under copyright. The company’s project is an attempt to copy every book in the collections of several major world libraries unless specifically denied permission to do so by the publisher of a title.

Le Martiniere, who is demanding 100,000 euros ($128,000) for each book involved, owns the French company Le Seuil, along with Delachaux and Niestle in Switzerland and Harry N Abrams in the United States. The lawsuit will be filed in a court in Paris and will target both Google France and its parent company, Google Inc.

“In order for the suit to be effective, we have requested a penalty of 100,000 euros for each infraction discovered and for each day’s delay,” said Yann Colin, La Martiniere’s lawyer, in a statement to the BBC. “That means that if Google breaches a ban… imposed by the court at the end of the proceedings, it would cost Google very dear to carry on.”

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