French Publisher Sues Google for Damages

Adrian Versteegh

In the first major overseas legal challenge to its massive book-scanning project, Google’s French division was hit last week with a copyright infringement lawsuit. Publishing group La Martinière, backed by the editors association Syndicat national de l’édition (SNE) and the writers union Société des gens de lettres (SGDL), is asking a Paris court to force the Internet giant to halt its digitization of protected works and to levy a fine of eighteen million euros (about $26 million) as well as a per diem fine of one hundred thousand euros ($146,000).

Court Considers Appeal in Salinger Suit

Adrian Versteegh

A court in New York City is considering whether the U.S. publication of Fredrik Colting’s 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, originally billed as an “unauthorized sequel” to The Catcher in the Rye, could cause irreparable harm to author J. D. Salinger. During oral arguments at the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, two members of the three-judge panel questioned whether a lower court had collected enough evidence before issuing a preliminary injunction against Colting in July.

Google Settlement Debate Intensifies

Adrian Versteegh

Both opponents and supporters of the Google Book settlement are closing ranks as the September 4 deadline for court filings approaches. This week saw attacks on the deal from the Open Book Alliance—a group comprising Amazon, Microsoft, and Yahoo, among others—as well as sharp criticism from the Urban Libraries Council. Meanwhile, Sony filed documents on Wednesday praising Google’s massive book-scanning venture as a boon for consumers.

Google Books Adds Creative Commons Content

Adrian Versteegh

Google kicked off a new program yesterday that will allow authors who have released their books under the Creative Commons license to distribute them free through Google Books. Participants will be able to select from among seven versions of the Creative Commons agreement, which lets rightsholders make works openly available while still specifying how they may be used or altered. 

Authors Guild Clashes With Agency Over Google Settlement

Adrian Versteegh

As the extended deadline for the Google book settlement approaches, industry professionals still disagree about how the massive book-scanning project will affect authors. After one of the country’s largest agencies issued a memo last week advising its clients to opt out of the deal, the Authors Guild, which supports the settlement, released a rebuttal on Monday. The Guild will host an open conference call tomorrow afternoon to address what it calls “a series of erroneous conclusions” drawn by the agency.

Temporary Restraining Order Issued in Salinger Suit

by Staff

A federal judge in New York City has issued a ten-day restraining order blocking the U.S. publication of Fredrik Colting’s 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. In her Wednesday ruling, judge Deborah Batts said she needed more time to determine whether the unauthorized sequel to The Catcher in the Rye was allowable under “fair use” provisions.

Google Gets Generous, Settles Suit

Kevin Canfield

It took three years, but the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Authors Guild, and Google finally resolved a highly publicized dispute about copyright and intellectual property law by agreeing on a $125 million out-of-court settlement that would seem to benefit all parties involved.



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