• Germany's news in English

Berlin fights Google Books project in US court

AFP · 2 Sep 2009, 08:21

Published: 02 Sep 2009 08:21 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries told the Handelsblatt business daily that she had filed a 25-page legal brief with a court in New York that must give the settlement the green light.

"We hope that the court strikes down the approval of the settlement in the class-action suit, or at least excludes our German authors and publishers from the so-called class so the settlement has no impact on them," Zypries said.

Google reached a class action settlement in October last year with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers to a copyright infringement suit they filed against the Internet powerhouse in 2005.

Under the settlement, Google agreed to pay $125 million to resolve outstanding claims and establish an independent "Book Rights Registry," which will provide revenue from sales and advertising to authors and publishers who agree to digitise their books.

The settlement still needs the approval of a US District Court judge, who is to hold a "fairness hearing" on the deal in New York on October 7.

The deadline for filing complaints is Friday.

Last week, industry giants Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo! joined an alliance opposing the legal settlement.

Zypries said that ideally German copyright holders should be able to decide for themselves whether Google may make their works available online.

She said the settlement violated international treaties such as the World International Property Organization Copyright Treaty adopted in Geneva in 1996, which stipulates that authors must be asked for permission before their works can be mass distributed elsewhere.

Story continues below…

It also threatens initiatives such as the European online library Europeana which she said protected authors' rights.

And it undermines German authors' copyrights although she said Google had pledged to only make the books available online in the United States, Zypries told Handelsblatt.

"We all know that the Internet knows no borders," she said.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd