French Publishers Face Google in Court Over Books

biggooglebksGoogle has gone on trial in Paris over the insistence by French writers and publishers that the company request permission before putting book excerpts online.

Google France lawyer Benjamin du Chaffaut is defending Google’s publication of excerpts of copyright-protected material. He says only works in the public domain or those whose authors have granted permission are available in full online.

A lawyer for one of three plaintiffs in Thursday’s trial, Valerie Barthez of the Writers’ Society, says using select excerpts without permission “is a bad representation of the works.”

A verdict is expected by Dec. 18.

U.S. authors and publishers also have sued Mountain View, Calif.-based Google. The parties have settled, but are renegotiating details after the U.S. Justice Department concluded that the original deal probably violates antitrust law.