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BizReport : Law & Regulation : November 24, 2006

Google Sued for Copyright Infringement

More copyright grief for Google, but this time it’s not via YouTube.

by Helen Leggatt

A French film production company, Flach Film, has issued a writ, for copyright infringement, against Google and its French counterpart, Google France.

Flach claims that Google allowed the free distribution of “The World According to Bush”. The two hour docu-film follows investigations into President George Bush’s family and its connection to the Bin Laden family.

According to Google’s own statistics, the film has already been viewed by thousands.

Flach is claiming compensation for loss of film income. “We made estimates of the prejudice and its goes well beyond 500,000 euros (US$644,400),” said Jean-Francois Lepetit, the film’s producer. “The film has been downloaded about 50,000 times and it has certainly been copied afterwards,"

The action comes hot on the heels of Universal’s suit against MySpace, for the illegal distribution of many of its artists work.

"This isn't a war against the Internet. I'm a big fan of Google and I use it all the time," LePetit told Variety," but it isn't possible to develop legal services on the Internet as long as this kind of parasitic activity continues to exist. Google must assume its responsibilities."

Google immediately removed the film after being alerted to the facts.

Tags: copyright, France, Google, MySpace

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