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The American Society of Media Photographers has sued Mountain View over Google Book Search, the library-scanning project that's already the subject of an unusually controversial lawsuit from American authors and publishers.
In a class action suit filed in a New York-based federal court on Wednesday, the photographers' trade association claims that Google has illegally scanned and displayed millions of books and other publications without the approval of those who control the rights to the photographs and other artwork inside those titles. "This is a civil action that arises under the laws of the United States and is designed to redress the most widespread, well-publicized, and uncompensated infringement of exclusive rights in images in the history of book and periodical publishing," the suit reads.
80% of the stuff they're scanning and selling is still under copyright. Unbelievable.
Joining the ASMP in the lawsuit are the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council of America, the North American Nature Photography Association, Professional Photographers of America, as well as several individual photographers and illustrators.
In its complaint, the ASMP charges Google with engaging in "the most widespread, well-publicized and uncompensated infringement of exclusive rights in images in the history of book and periodical publishing."
The ASMP considers members of the class photographers, illustrators, graphic designers and visual artists who own the copyright to at least one work contained in a book or periodical Google has scanned without permission.
The ASMP and other lead plaintiffs ask the court to slap Google with an injunction to force it to stop scanning and storing copyright works without permission, and ask that Google pay a minimum US$180,000 per infringed work.