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French court finds Google guilty over book rights

updated 01:05 pm EST, Fri December 18, 2009

Google ordered to pay $430k by French court

A court in Paris has ruled on Friday that Google is guilty of infringing copyrights by publishing French books online. The Internet search company is ordered to pay the equivalent of $430,000 in damages and interest to French publisher La Martiniere-Le Seuil, and a further daily fine until it removes the titles from its online database. Google's laywer, Alexandra Neri, says his client will appeal the court's decision.

The president of France's Syndicat National de l'Edition, Serge Eyrolles, said Google scanned 100,000 French books into its database, 80 percent of which were under copyright and didn't include permissions for Google or others to convert them into digital works. Eyrolles added that French publishers are willing to work with Google to digitize their works, but only if Google will "stop playing around with us" and honor French intellectual property law.

Google's plans to scan books and offer them online have drawn criticism elsewhere, including from Amazon, Microsoft, and Yahoo, as they claim it would give the search leader too much control over e-books and how writers are paid. [via WSJ, subscription required]

by MacNN Staff



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