[JURIST] The Authors Guild [advocacy website], an advocacy organization for published writers, together with a former Poet Laureate, a Lincoln biographer and a children's book author, Tuesday sued search engine and advertising giant Google [press release; complaint, PDF] alleging "massive copyright infringement at the expense of the rights of individual writers." The class action suit filed in federal court in Manhattan alleges that Google [Google backgrounder] has engaged in unauthorized scanning and copying of books through its Google Print Library Project [Google backgrounder; advocacy copyright analysis, PDF]. The project, which involves the scanning and digitizing of library books, is a "plain and brazen violation of copyright law" according to Nick Taylor, the president of the Authors Guild, who added:
It's not up to Google or anyone other than the authors, the rightful owners of these copyrights, to decide whether and how their works will be copied.Last month, CNET reported that Google said it would temporarily halt [CNET report] book scanning for the project after widespread criticism from publishers [CNET report].
Google is no stranger to lawsuits for copyright infringement. Earlier this year, Google News was sued by AFP for alleged intellectual property infringement [JURIST report]. AFP alleged that Google pulled and displayed photos, headlines and leads from the AFP subscription website.
The named plaintiffs who seek damages in addition to an injunction to stop the digitizing, are New York Times writer Herbert Mitgang, children's author Betty Miles and Daniel Hoffman, 1973-1974 US Poet Laureate [Encyclopædia Britannica backgrounder]. CNET has more.