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French Case Over Google Books Begins

President of publishers' association lashes out at "infernal machine"

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French publishers had their first day in court today as a case concerning Google Books began.  Various organizations are clamoring for Google to stop scanning manuscripts, and the plaintiffs are seeking about $22 million in compensation, too.

The La Martiniere publishing group originally brought its case against Google several years ago.  Since then, the Syndicat National de l’Edition and the Societe des gens de letters have offered their support.

Serge Eyrolles, the president of the Syndicat National de l’Edition, used some particularly strong words to describe Google and its actions, telling Ben Hall, "It is an infernal machine, it never stops.  It is a disgrace.  It is cultural rape."

Also, according to Dominique Chabrol, the SNE believes that 100,000 French books still under the protection of copyright law have been scanned by Google.

So it looks like Google’s facing quite an uphill battle.  One of the few details in its favor is the fact that the company’s talks with the National Library of France have reportedly been going well.

Don’t count on seeing a ruling one way or the other in the near future, though, considering how long it took the case to make it this far, and remember that an appeal’s likely to occur whatever the outcome.

French Case Over Google Books Begins
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