A Paris court ruled Friday that Google Inc.’s expansion into digital books breaks France’s copyright laws, and a judge slapped the Internet search leader with a euro10,000-a-day fine until it stops showing literary snippets.
Besides being fined the equivalent of $14,300 for each day in violation, Google was ordered to pay euro300,000 ($430,000) in damages and interest to French publisher La Martiniere, which brought the case on behalf of a group of French publishers.
Google attorney Alexandra Neri said the company would appeal.
The decision erects another legal barrier that may prevent Google from realizing its 5-year-old goal of scanning all the world’s books into a digital library accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
A U.S. legal settlement that would give Google the digital rights to millions of books is in limbo because U.S. regulators have warned a federal judge in New York that the arrangement probably would thwart competition in the budding electronic book market and compromise copyrights, as well.
The top U.S. copyright official and the governments in Germany and France also have raised objections about that settlement overstepping its bounds. Google is trying to address the critics with a revised settlement that is still under court review.