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More Legal Grief for Google: American Society of Media Photographers Files Lawsuit

April 07, 2010

Google, the Internet search giant in the middle of a controversial court settlement with publishers and authors over plans to create a digital library, just got slammed with another class-action lawsuit.

On Wednesday, the American Society of Media Photographers and other organizations for visual artists announced a class-action lawsuit against the Mountain View, Calif., company, asserting that Google's efforts to digitize millions of books from libraries is a large-scale infringement of their copyrights, The New York Times reported.

The ASMP action comes five years after the 2005 Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers first raised issue with Google's digital library.

The ASMP and the other trade associations, representing thousands of members, decided to file the class action after the Court denied their request to join the currently pending $125 million class action that had previously been filed primarily on behalf of text authors in connection with the Google Library Project, according to a press statement.

The new class action goes beyond Google's Library Project, and includes Google's other systematic and pervasive infringements of the rights of photographers, illustrators and other visual artists.

"We are seeking justice and fair compensation for visual artists whose work appears in the 12 million books and other publications Google has illegally scanned to date," said Victor Perlman, general counsel for the American Society of Media Photographers.

Other groups joining the class action reportedly include the Graphic Artists Guild, the North American Nature Photography Association and the Professional Photographers of America, as well as individual photographers and illustrators.

Marisa Torrieri is a unified communications Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to unified communications's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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