This story is from the category Legal
Date posted: 19/12/2009
A French court on Friday told Google that it cannot digitise French books without publishers' approval and ordered the online giant to pay 300,000 euros (430,000 dollars) in damages.
The ruling capped a three-year-old case brought by one of France's biggest publishing houses, Les Editions du Seuil, which claimed that thousands of its works had been digitised by Google without consent.
The Paris tribunal ruled that by scanning entire books or excerpts and putting them on line, "Google has committed acts of copyright violation to the detriment of Le Seuil" and two other publishers.
It ordered Google to pay 300,000 euros in damages to the three publishers owned by La Martiniere group and a symbolic sum of one euro to the SNE Publishers' Association and the SGDL Society of Authors.
La Martiniere was seeking 15 million euros in damages and interests.
Google said it would appeal the decision, but agreed to halt scanning books published by La Martiniere and other works under French copyright law.
"This ruling does not help advance copyright protection," said Google lawyer Alexandra Neri. "Quite the contrary, it is a setback for the rights of Internet users who want access to the French and world literary heritage.
"France is now at the back of the Internet queue," said Neri.
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