Court Upholds ASMP's Rights In Class Action Against Google

Posted on 6/7/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

U.S. Judge Denny Chin has issued an opinion denying Google's motion to dismiss lawsuits by the American Society of Media Photographers and the Authors Guild. The motion to dismiss had been based primarily on Google's assertion that ASMP and other trade associations did not have standing to bring a copyright infringement suit on behalf of members. In his ruling, the Judge asserted that "given the sweeping and undiscriminating nature of Google's unauthorized copying, it would be unjust to require that each affected association member litigate his claim individually."
The associational plaintiffs in the American Society of Media Photographers ("ASMP") action include ASMP, the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council of America, the North American Nature Photography Association, and Professional Photographers of America. Judge Chin also granted the Authors Guild's motion for class certification.
ASMP's class action copyright infringement suit against Google, Inc. was filed in the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York in 2010. ASMP and the other trade associations, representing thousands of members, decided to file the class action after the Court denied their request to join the pending class action that had previously been filed primarily on behalf of text authors in connection with the Google Library Project.

According to ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik, "We are delighted that Judge Chin has validated the ability of trade associations to represent their members, which is one of the primary benefits of joining ASMP and other associations." ASMP General Counsel Victor Perlman said, "As a result of this decision, our suit to stop Google's unauthorized scanning and display of massive amounts of copyrighted materials will be able to move forward in the courts."

Copyright © 2012 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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