Google Gets a Lawsuit from Photographers

SMS Text

Here’s another twist on Google’s long struggle on the Google  Book Search Settlement issue. The American Society of Media Photograpehrs (ASMP) and other photographic artists groups and concerned individuals have filed a class action copyright infringement lawsuit against Google. Their case? – Google’s alleged copyright infringement on the photos contained on the scanned millions of books under the Google Books Search problem.

By scanning the whole volume of books and making it available for public consumptio, Google is infringing on the copyright of the individual photos contained in those books, the group argues. This may seem pretty logical since Google did not obtain permission to reproduce those photographic works from the original creators. Although, it may seem legal as well if Google has obtained permission from the book publisher since the photos are part of the whole book scanned.

Interestingly, the lawsuit was filed on April 7 in the U.S. District for the Souther District of New York. This is also where the Google Book Search settlement was filed.

According to ASMP, the lawsuit covers Google’s systematic and pervasive infringements of the photographers, illustrators and other visual artists rights.

Now, should the Google Book Search settlement which is scheduled to be resolved anytime soon in favor of Google, what will happen to this lawsuit filed by the photographers’ group then?  The lawsuits are  different entities so, ruling for one will not carry over as a ruling for the other.

But the ultimate issue of course is whether Google will be given the go signal to continue with the Book Search project.

Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google, Ask.com, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building... Read Full Bio
Arnold Zafra
Subscribe to SEJ!
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!