NEW YORK - Just weeks after a leading authors' organization sued Google for copyright infringement, the Association of American Publishers has also filed suit against the search engine giant's plans to scan and index books for the Internet.
Under the Google Print Library Project, millions of copyrighted books from three major university libraries - Harvard, Stanford and Michigan - will be indexed on the Internet unless the copyright holder notifies the company by Nov. 1 about which volumes should be excluded.
Google has called the project an invaluable chance for books to receive increased exposure.
But in papers filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the publishers association sought a permanent injunction and cited the "continuing, irreparable and imminent harm publishers are suffering ... due to Google's willful (copyright) infringement to further its own commercial purposes."
The suit was filed on behalf of five publishers: McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Penguin Group USA, Simon & Schuster and John Wiley & Sons. The suit seeks recovery of legal costs, but no additional damages.
Google, in a statement issued Wednesday, called the legal action "short-sighted" and said the project was a "historic effort to make millions of books easier for people to find and buy."
David Drummond, Google's general counsel and vice president of corporate development, said in the statement that "creating an easy to use index of books is fair use under copyright law and supports the purpose of copyright: to increase the awareness and sales of books directly benefiting copyright holders."