Elsewhere in legal news, Google is being sued for copyright infringement by a long list of photographers, artists, graphic designers, and the professional organizations in which they gather. The class-action lawsuit, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, relates to Google’s digitization of millions of books and other publications for its Google Books Library Project. According to the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the lead plaintiff in the suit, Google is illegally scanning materials that contain copyrighted images and displaying them to the public without regard to the rights of the visual creators. “We strongly believe that our members and those of other organizations, whose livelihoods are significantly and negatively impacted, deserve to have representation in this landmark issue,” said ASMP general counsel Victor Perlman in a statement issued today. Joining ASMP as plaintiffs are the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council of America, the North American Nature Photography Association, Professional Photographers of America, and individuals including photojournalist Ed Kashi and illustrator Simms Taback. The decision to file suit came after Google denied the request of the trade associations to join the pending $125 million class action filed in 2005 by groups representing authors.
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