Google Asks Court To Dismiss Book-Scanning Lawsuits

google-books-featuredAs their long-running legal battle continues, Google has asked a federal judge to dismiss lawsuits brought by authors’ and photographers’ groups over its book-scanning service.

According to Bloomberg News, Google told judge Denny Chin that The Authors Guild can’t sue on behalf of the authors because the Guild doesn’t own the copyrights to the books that Google has been scanning since the program was announced in 2004.

Reuters reports that, in response to Google’s claim, Chin said “it would take forever” to resolve individual author’s lawsuits and that it “seems to make sense” to allow the lawsuits to continue as a group. Authors Guild attorney Joanne Zack argued in favor of a class action, saying “it would be a terrible burden on the court if each individual author was forced to litigate.”

The Authors Guild brought its class action suit against Google in 2005, calling Google’s digital book scanning a “massive” copyright infringement. The two sides reached a settlement in 2008 that called for writers to opt-out if they objected to Google scanning their works. Chin rejected that settlement in March 2011, saying the settlement should be opt-in, instead.

Separately today, Google also asked Chin to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the American Society of Media Photographers. That group sued Google in 2010 over the inclusion of copyrighted images that appear in the books Google has been scanning.

Judge Chin indicated that he’ll consider Google’s motions and announce a decision later.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Book Search | Google: Legal | Legal: Copyright | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • AHMAN ADAM

    Great Post, I love to read articles that are informative and actually have good content. Thank you for sharing your experiences and I look forward to reading more.

  • http://www.webstatsart.com/ Webstats Art

    Dead people cannot opt in or out

  • Mike Debauched

    Surely there is some way that authors and publishing houses could sue, but it wouldn’t be easy and might not even be worth the hassle.

  • http://twitter.com/Puget_SEO Puget SEO

    Why is it that Google can break the law and get away with it? It’s really time we as a nation put them in check. Don’t be evil…

  • Monir hossian

    you are absolutely right

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