NPPA Joins Fifteen Others in Copyright Suit Against Google Books


The National Press Photographers Association has decided to throw their hat in the ring with 15 other organizations that are all suing Google over what they see as “widespread, well-publicized, and uncompensated infringement of exclusive rights” perpetrated by the search giant’s Google Books program.

The suit consists of a 49-page complaint, which states the Google Book Search consistently turns up images in both books and periodicals that are, in fact, copyright protected. The complaint levies some pretty serious accusations against Google, whose Books application has already been at the center of criticism and litigation by writers who also claim copyright infringement.

In addition to citing specific examples of copy protected content that has been scanned and displayed via Google Book Search, the complaint states that:

Google’s acts have caused, and unless restrained, will continue to cause irreparable injuries to Lead Plaintiffs and the Class members through: continued copyright infringement and/or the effectuation of new and further infringements of the Visual Works contained in Books and Periodicals; diminution of the value and ability to license and sell their Visual Works; lost profits and/or opportunities; and damage to their goodwill and reputation.


Those lead plaintiffs include The American Society of Media Photographers, The Graphic Artists Guild, The Picture Archive Council of America, The North American Nature Photography Association, and many more, all of whom believe that it is their job to advocate for the artists whose copyrighted work is being devalued by Google.

NPPA president Mike Borland explained that it was “only natural” for the association to join its peers in this suit, saying that it’s important “not [to] allow companies like Google to infringe upon our rights uncontested.”

(via The NPPA)

  • John Kantor

    “We can’t burn the books so Burn the Publisher!” Let’s all pretend it’s 1970!

  • bogorad

    Idiots trying to fight the future. Good luck!

  • Yuri Grinshteyn

    How exactly does preventing content from being easily found serve the interest of the copyright holders?

  • Renato Murakami

    As someone who never used Google Books other than to find a title I needed to consult first before buying, here are some stuff I don’t understand:
    1. do Google Books publish complete commercial books that are not CC or public domain? Isn’t it more like a selection of partial content?
    2. any cases of incomplete books going uncredited?
    3. In what level is it different from say, letting people go through book contents in a book shop?
    Provided that I don’t really know what’s the state of Google Books out there, but I have to say that other than very few people I know who used it to search for study related stuff (usually to search for books that might have content they are interested in buying), I never heard of it being used to infringe on authors copyrights.
    In fact, it’s almost the opposite: kinda like a last resource thing to search for authors who might have written about the subjects people are looking for – people who will either buy or search in libraries because they need the full content, usually students writting essays, term papers or something.

  • Luisa N

    Google books are partial content, actually we had to buy the book if we really want to do school job. Google just help us to find the topics fast and the page were is going to be the content in the book, it really help us, to do school homework, it just show us in what page is the content but partially, it says that we had to buy the book to have all the page information. My case, I bought a $400 dlls book, The labor relation Process, but I also use the google online search book, and then I go there, type the word for the topic I’m looking for and then I have to go to the book I bought and finished reading. THank you google for helping me with my homework. Do not sue google please!