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Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Settlement

posted by Christopher Howard — Oct 29, 2008

The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers, and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the United States from the collections of a number of major US libraries participating in Google Book Search. The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, would resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers as representatives of AAP’s membership. The class action is subject to approval by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The agreement promises to benefit readers and researchers, and enhance the ability of authors and publishers to distribute their content in digital form, by significantly expanding online access to works through Google Book Search, an ambitious effort to make millions of books searchable via the web. The agreement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright owners, provides an efficient means for them to control how their intellectual property is accessed online, and enables them to receive compensation for online access to their works.

To read more about this landmark settlement, visit the Authors Guild v. Google Settlement Resources Page and the Google Book Search Copyright Settlement. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, the New York Times, and Wired all report on the story.