Google loses book copyright case in France

Google loses book copyright case in France

Summary: In a Globe and Mail report,  Google has been convicted of violating France's copyright laws. The company plans to appeal.


In a Globe and Mail report,  Google has been convicted of violating France's copyright laws. The company plans to appeal. Google may yet face an EU hearing if Google continues to persist publishing excerpts of books without permission of the copyright holders. According to the report,  over 80% of the French books Google has copied are still copyright protected.

The head of the French publisher's union said he was "completely satisfied" with the verdict.

"It shows Google that they are not the kings of the world and they can't do whatever they want," said Serge Eyrolles, president of France's Syndicat National de l'Edition. He said Google had scanned 100,000 French books into its database - 80 per cent of which were under copyright.

Germany has already voiced concerns and this may open the door to future European litigation. Google's legal team will be busy for the foreseeable future and indicates the company is willing to charge ahead and ask for forgiveness later even if it means large penalties. Google finances are not in jeopardy in this fight.

Topics: Legal, CXO, Enterprise Software, Google

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  • Good! Let's hope it's the first of many. (nt)

  • I'm wondering how much

    has M$ paid the French publisher?s union for this frivolous lawsuit?
    Linux Geek
    • wow linux geek, but

      you sound like a complete moron saying that. first off, m$ has nothing to do with the case (if you want eu vs m$, check out the IE case). this is about google in effect stealing books from french authors and those authors are understandably ticked off because of that. if you really want to troll about m$, do so in a m$-related story. moron...
      • LG SOUNDS like a complete moron?

        Not to worry...he/she/it IS a complete moron.
        • wel...

          not a moron... just a cover agent working for Microsoft to discredit Linux...

          or maybie he is a moron... ummm
          • I'll go with

            the "moron" notion... :)
            John Zern
    • Profitting off of others Copyrighted material is Frivolous???

      While the concept is cool, it still drove additional traffic to Google's site
      allowing increases in ad revenue.

      The book thing, while neet in concept, was/is just a bad idea and it is
      what happens when a bunch of kids with no background are allowed to
      do whatever.
  • How much did you paid by $oogle?

    Hi Linux Geek,

    How much did $oogle paid you?
    It appears you are only attacking M$.
    To me both the same!
  • RE: Google loses book copyright case in France

    WOW 6 out of 7 comments are about MS/Linux rivalry. How pathetic is that? ZDNET should remove off topic comments and strive for "some" integrity.

    I'm on the fence over the whole digital book argument. I love the tactical feel of a real hard bound tome BUT I would really love to have my entire library at hand in one tidy gadget on the road.As badly as I want that portability I don't want Google to be the ones editing my books and telling the government which books I am reading.

    As far as copywrite infringement Google is behaving like the Democrats and their health care agenda. They want what they want and they want it NOW. No matter how damnable the consequences may be or what the general populace may want.
    • Google is steadily moving forward

      It does appear that Google is a steam roller that nobody can stop these days, except in France and maybe Germany.
      • Difficulty of Copyright Law

        What this probably shows is the difficulty of copyright law. Just because a book in French or German in the U.S. is out of copyright does not mean that the same book in France or Germany is out of copyright. There are also other political factors in play here, especially with France and Germany. Both countries have book seller organizations who have revenue streams for selling out of print books which makes Google a threat to them. Also, we have an American company doing business in Europe and typical anti-Americanism by European governments.
        Andrew Houghton
        • Copyright rules - don't always overlap

          Interesting comment. As I understand the case that went before the courts, over 80% of the books in question were original french author works.
          • Maybe those authors would prefer...

            that American owned companies cease to sell their works if they don't want to have them advertised. As I understand, what was presented were exerpts from these books used for advertisement purposes. Maybe in France the title of a book is all that's needed to sell the thing.