Germany to file amicus in Google Books Case

Looks like Google has a new opponent in their charm offensive: Germany. More specifically, Germany’s attorney general Brigitte Zypries. Zypries said that Germany is considering filing a friend of the court brief in the Google Books case in order to “[make] the court aware of certain legal aspects“.

Now what might those legal aspects be? “Google’s actions are irreconcilable with the principles of European copyright law, according to which the consent of the author must be obtained before his or her works may be reproduced or made publicly available on the Internet” for starters according to the German delegation to the European Commission. The Commission was asked to “…examine the Google Books project as well as the impact of the settlement sought in the USA from the point of view of copyright law, law on restrictive practices and cultural policy and, where appropriate, to introduce new measures to protect rights holders.”

Google’s reaction? “Google said it was ‘happy to engage in any constructive dialogue about the future of books and copyright.'” Meaning what? We can outlast you in court?

It is a far, far different thing taking on ligitation with governments than it is bullying a bunch of authors, journalists, recording artists and songwriters.

Oh, one other thing…Germany has elections in a few months. Congratulations Dr. Smarty Pants–you are now officially an international incident.

It’s called the Heidelberg Appeal.