The Association of American Publishers (AAP) yesterday filed a lawsuit to block Googles project to scan and digitise books under copyright.
They are now the second group, after the Authurs Guild, which represents 8,000 writers joined some individual authors in a class action lawsuit alleging that the Google Print Library Project violated their copyright.
Googles project which plans to scan and index books from libraries at Harvard, Michigan, Stanford and Oxford Universities, plus the New York Public Library, looks increasingly threatened as the AAP also includes major publishing heavyweights such as McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster, John Wiley and Sons and others.
Googles mistake may have been not to have asked permission form these associations before going ahead with their plans. A rival consortium led by Yahoo have made a big point of seeking permission before books are scanned.
Its going to be an interesting race. I don't see Google backing off - the prize is too large. But, I hope they all resolve their issues because I think that both Google's and Yahoo's attemts to digitize and then offer books over the internet is an important step forwards for our society. As long as the books are sold correctly and everyone's copyright protected.