An association of major American book publishers is suing Google Inc., alleging that the search giants plan to scan books and make them available online violates copyright law.
The complaint takes aim at the Google Print Library project, which is in the midst of scanning book collections at several major universities plus the New York Public Library, and making some or all of the contents available to the general public through the Web site print.google.com.
On Wednesday, the AAP (Association of American Publishers) accused Google of a single count of copyright infringement, and also demanded that Google remove from its records potentially many of the books it has already scanned.
The U.S. District Court complaint was filed on behalf of five major AAP members: the McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson Education, Penguin Group (USA), Simon & Schuster Inc. and John Wiley & Sons Inc..
"The bottom line is that under its current plan Google is seeking to make millions of dollars by freeloading on the talent and property of authors and publishers," AAP President Patricia Schroeder said in a statement Wednesday.
A Google representative could not immediately be reached for comment.
Google said it intends to resume scanning books on Nov. 1, ending a self-imposed hiatus on the project in order to sort out which authors would like their works scanned and which would not. Google has also just begun making available Google Print available in eight European nations.
This is the second major lawsuit involving the Google Print Library Project. In late September, the Authors Guild, a New York-based writers trade group, filed a similar copyright infringement lawsuit.
But in the authors case, the suit is seeking class action status, so it could potentially represent any author whose work is published in any of the libraries Google is working with.