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Google Sued over Unfair Image Use


In an attempt to prevent Google from unfairly copying, scanning and displaying copyrighted images, the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and other trade groups have filed a class action lawsuit against the search-engine company.

For the past five years, Google has been uploading millions of books and other publications containing copyrighted images and displaying them to the public as part of the Google Library Project — all allegedly without adhering to the rights of the authors.

 Brought in April by the ASMP, the Graphic Artists Guild, the North American Nature Photographers Association, the Picture Agency Council of America, the Professional Photographers and several independent artists, the lawsuit was filed after the New York federal court denied these visual media groups the right to join a previous suit filed by text authors against the Library Project.

At this time, Google has digitized only images from books still in print, not from works that are out of print, and has reportedly said that these images were used with the permission of the authors. 

The previous suit was filed in 2005 by the Authors Guild to prevent Google from scanning and displaying copyrighted books. The two sides settled for $125 million in 2008, but are still waiting final approval from the courts.