French Court Rules Against Google Books

The Paris Civil Court has ruled that Google Books violated the French copyrights of two publishers, and must stop scanning French works for its Google Books book digitization project and pay some €300,000 to French publisher La Martiniere, which brought the suit. Although the financial impact of the decision isn’t terribly significant to Google, the decision is the latest setback for Google’s plans to scan millions of books and make them available online to Internet users. Google Books has drawn consistent criticism from both publishers and libraries in the United States and Europe, although Google has been forging ahead with its digitization plans.

La Martiniere Group logo

Google says it plans to appeal the French court’s decision, and believes that showing short extracts from copyrighted works via its Google Books service complies with copyright laws in both the United States and France. However, Google Books scans the books in their entirety—many of which are under copyright—and presents excerpts without permission from the publisher or copyright holders.

French publishers have hailed the decision, seeing it as corralling an increasingly-ambitious corporation trying to run roughshod over intellectual property concerns. The Google Books project has been likened to an Orwellian “Big Brother,” and according to one of the trade groups participating in the lawsuit, has already scanned more than 100,000 copyrighted French works.

Google maintains that Google Books performs a social good, and France may pay a price for barring its scanning of French works. “French readers now face the threat of losing access to a significant body of knowledge and falling behind the rest of Internet users,” said Google Books’ development director for France Philippe Colombet, in a statement distributed via email.

Negotiations with publishers and government agencies has led Google to to establish a Book Rights Registry for works published in the United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia; under the terms of the agreement, Google will pay for access to copyrighted works and try to find owners of so-called “orphan” copyright works which are still protected but for which owners are unknown.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy announced earlier this week that the country would put €750 million towards a national project to digitize French works.

Gaming

Owners of ROM sites ordered to pay Nintendo more than $12 million

An federal court judge in Arizona has awarded Nintendo more than $12 million in damages in its lawsuit with the owners of two popular ROM websites. The sites must also be transferred to Nintendo's control.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Movies & TV

Stan Lee has died: Marvel Comics icon and legendary creator dead at 95

Stan Lee, one of the world's most important and iconic comic-book authors, has died at the age of 95. Creator of some of the most famous and beloved superheroes and villains of all time, Lee leaves behind an indelible legacy.
Gaming

Want to gift a Steam game so you can play with a friend? Here's how to do it

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Computing

Multi-monitor issues? Here's how to resolve them

If you're running into multi-monitor problems, you're not alone. Two screens are very useful, but they can present some difficulties. Here are some common multi-monitor problems and how to fix them.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?
Computing

Capture screenshots with print screen and a few alternative methods

Capturing a screenshot of your desktop is easier than you might think, but it's the kind of thing you'll probably need to know. Here's how to perform the important function in just a few, easy steps.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

The best MacBook deals for November 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Computing

All the best deals on Surface products for Black Friday

A number of retailers are discounting Surface devices for Black Friday. Be it the Surface Pro 2017, Surface Pro 6, or the Surface Go, here's a look at how (and where) you can save big on Surface this holiday season.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Product Review

Flexible and fast, HP's Spectre x360 is the 2-in-1 for every occasion

HP’s late-2017 refresh of the Spectre x360 13 convertible 2-in-1 leverages Intel’s eighth-generation CPUs for significantly improved performance and battery life. The thin and light frame is also tweaked, and looks better than ever.