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Google Ordered To Pay Weekly $100,000 Fine For Copying French Books

Google Inc has come under fire from a Paris court as it ruled against the search engine giant in a case of copyright infringement slapped on the company by French publisher La Martiniere, which fought the case on behalf of several other French publishers.

Google Inc was found guilty by the Paris court of violating French copyright laws by digitising books and featuring excerpts from the books in search results without prior permission from the publishers or individual writers.

The Associated Press has reported that the court has ordered Google to cough up 300,000 Euros in damages along with a daily payment of 10,000 Euros until it gets rid of the literary excerpts of the publishers’ book from its database.

However, Google has said that it will appeal against the judgment of the court, as Google spokeswoman Gabriel Stricker said in an email sent to Information Week that the company "disagree[s] with the judge's decision and will appeal the judgment."

Stricker added that Google "believe[s] that displaying a limited number of short extracts from books complies with copyright legislation both in France and the U.S."

Ever since Google initiated its plans to digitise books around the world from local libraries and other sources to feature scanned excerpts of the books in its search results, it has been running into legal hurdles from publishers all over US and Europe.

Our Comments

Google needs to bear in mind that not everyone shares the same beliefs as the search engine giant. Will other countries follow France's example? Not sure. Will Google actually learn from this and be more conservative? Not sure as well.

Related Links

Google Found Guilty In French Copyright Case (opens in new tab)

(Information Week)

French court fines Google for scanning books (opens in new tab)

(DW World)

Google fined $14,300 a day in France over books (opens in new tab)

(Yahoo News)

French court shuts down Google Books project (opens in new tab)

(LA Times)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.