The American Society of Media Photographers issued a statement on Wednesday saying they’ve filed a class action law suit against Google for copyright infringement.
“The suit relates to Google’s illegal scanning of millions of books and other publications containing copyrighted images and displaying them to the public without regard to the rights of the visual creators,” the statement reads.
The society, along with several other visual artists organizations, filed the class action after the court denied their subsequent requests to join a $125 million class action filed by book authors against the Google Library Project.
Google books began in 2002 with the goal to digitally scan and publish online versions of every book in existence.
Three years ago, several authors, publishers and professional organizations filed the $125 million class action against Google Books because they said the project threatened authors, publishers, illustrators and photographers by giving copyrighted versions of their work to the online community for free.
After extended negotiations and the involvement of Congress, Google and the plaintiffs reached an agreement that would allow the search engine giant to only publish parts of copyrighted books online if they were out of print.
Visual artists, however, were denied inclusion in the initial lawsuit and settlement. And these artists may go after more than just Google Books. It appears they may be gearing up to go after Google’s popular image search feature.
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“The new class action,” reads the statement, “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.
According to ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik, “Through this suit, we are fulfilling the missions of our organizations and standing up for the rights of photographers and other visual artists who have been excluded from the process up to now. 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.”