Google has been found guilty of taking extracts from books without permission from publishers and authors
Google has been told to pay a French publisher 300,000 euros by a French court because Google has extracts of the publisher’s books on its database.
In a ruling sure to pique the interest of overseas publishers and authors, the French court said that Google had violated French copyright laws by scanning excerpts from books, which it then places in its search engine so people searching for a book or author can find it.
Google claims this helps authors and publishers sell more because people can find the work online and then go and buy it. Publishers and authors are pretty adamant that their copyright has been infringed. In the US, Google seemed to agree because in 2008 it reached a settlement with publishers and authors who sued over copyright issues.
Knowing Google, this is not the end of the road, and they will no doubt appeal the case. However, whether it will be worth navigating the minefield of every country’s copyright laws remains to be seen.