Israel Judge Refuses Class Action Against Google Books

Google Books scans books and stores a searchable electronic copy on Internet accessible servers, making a short extract of 2-3 lines available to searchers, together with name of author, title, publisher and year of publication.

If the authors consent to take part in the project, the can allow a larger extract t be available and in return, a link to online suppliers of the book is provided.

Jonathan Bruner, the author of “What you see from there” filed a Class Action against Google Books, on behalf of Israeli Authors whose copyright was he considers infringed by this.

In her ruling, Judge Tamar Bazak Rappoport refused to allow this to be considered a Class Action. She considers the Law of Class Actions to restrict the procedure to trade related disputes where a supplier or vendor provides a service to a large group of people. In the current instance, this is not the scenario. Google considers the authors who work with them as partners. That as may be, those who do not join the program are not clients or customers.

Regardless of whether there is a case of Unjust Enrichment or Copyright infringement resulting from Google’s activity, following the Israel Supreme Court Precedent 3126/00 State of Israel vs. E.Sh.T. Project Management and Personnel LTD, 2003, the instances where a Class Action is appropriate is limited to vendor-customer type cases.

She threw out the request for the case to be considered a Class Action and ruled NIS 10,000 to Google.

Class Action Ruling11319-04-11 : Bruner vs. Google Inc., 23 November 2011, Judge Tamar Bazak Rappoport

5 Responses to Israel Judge Refuses Class Action Against Google Books

  1. well that’s an awfully narrow view of class actions…is there a reason based on Israeli law that made her rule in that way/ Otherwise, why should the class action not be allowed simply because this is copyright infringement? I’m sorry but I’m afraid that makes little to no sense!

    • The Israel black letter law does limit class actions to vendor-customer type scenarios.

      • Thank you for the reply Dr. Factor. In that case, would you be able to shed any more light on the motivation for Judge Bazak Rappoport’s decision?

      • I already have. The judge understands that Israel Law only allows class actions for vendor – customer type cases. The copyright case is not one of these.

        Please realize that class actions are inherently problematic since they prevent individuals from persuing their own actions. There has to be a certain sameness between the members of the class. In Israel the tool is limited to vendor-customer type cases.

  2. I’m sorry. I misread your reply. I thought I read “doesn’t limit”. My mistake.

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