Google Sued by French Publishers for Alleged Illegal Book Scanning

Three French publishers on Wednesday said that they were taking legal actions against Google, an American multinational corporation for Internet-based services and products, for illegally scanning thousands of their books for its online library.

The lawsuit was lodged by publishers Albin Michel, Flammarion and Gallimard at a court in Paris. A source from Gallimard’s legal division said Google has been ordered to appear in court. The publishers are also demanding €9.8 billion in damages.

According to a legal representative who refused to be named, the demanded money will serve as a payment for over 10,000 books that they alleged were digitally scanned by Google without any of their permission. The damages are based on a fixed tariff of €1,000 per scanned book, whose rights are owned by the publishers.

The publishers are suing Google for forgery. However, Google responded by saying they were surprised to receive the claim and insisted that they legally scanned the books. The company said they complied with the French laws and international copyrights. However, the company is then analyzing the issued summons.

In 2009, Google was also sued over the same issue by La Martiniere, another French publisher. A court also turned down a deal Google proposed to scan several American books in the United States.

Yet, Google was given a license by the second-biggest publisher in the world and the biggest in France, Hachette Livre, to scan its books.

Google has already scanned 12 million books for its worldwide library project, based on the publisher’s legal representative.

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