There comes a time when expressions of concern and explicit warnings are not enough – thus the New York-based business arms of global educational publishers Elsevier, Cengage Learning, Macmillan Learning and McGraw Hill have now joined forces to file a lawsuit against Google for unlawfully advertising pirated e-book versions of student textbooks.

A report posted in ‘Publishing Perspectives’ describes a litany of bad behaviour by Google, such as studiously ignoring notices of infringement and repeatedly platforming ads for unauthorised e-book suppliers, while refusing advertising from the legitimate publishers.

I will be monitoring how the case progresses with interest – but I doubt somehow that Google will be that bothered, even if they lose, given that a fine of many billions of dollars would make only a very small dent in their bottom line….

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