|ATLANTA, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — American Photographic Artists (APA) is joining the 15 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Google. By joining the suit, APA alleges the “Google Book Search” program violates the copyrights of numerous photographers and other visual artists. The lead plaintiffs include: The American Society of Media Photographers, Graphic Artists Guild, Picture Archive Council of America, North American Nature Photography Association, Professional Photographers of America, National Press Photographers Association, Leif Skoogfors, Al Satterwhite, Morton Beebe, Ed Kashi, John Schmelzer, Simms Taback and Gail Kuenstler Taback Living Trust, Leland Bobbe, John Francis, Ficara, and David W. Moser.
Google has contracted with libraries including the Universities of California, Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Stanford as well as book and periodical publishers to create digital “archives” of books and periodicals by electronically copying them in their entirety. These books and periodicals contain photographs, illustrations, graphic art, and other visual images protected by copyright law.
The plaintiffs claim that Google has copied, stored, electronically distributed, and publically displayed without the authorization of the exclusive rights owners of the visual works. This result is massive copyright infringement from Google’s creation and operation of its Google Book Search program. In this action, the plaintiffs seek damages and injunctive and declaratory relief with respect to Google’s present infringement of Visual Works as well as injunctive and declaratory relief as to Google’s planned future infringement of the Visual Works.
“APA has long been an advocate and activist for the protection of visual artists copyrights. We are grateful to the named plaintiffs to be joining them in this fight,” comments APA CEO, Stephen Best. Representing the plaintiffs are attorneys Mishcon de Reya, New York LLP, and Ronny L. Kurzman, Esq.
“Copyright protection and licensing images are two elements that ensure the sustainability of a professional photographer’s career,” notes APA National President, Theresa Raffetto. “APA membership consists of professional photographers who rely on these elements and is why APA advocates fearlessly for copyright protection. Holding Google Books responsible for their flagrant copyright infringement is something APA has been working on and we’re pleased to continue this fight in conjunction with the other plaintiffs.”