After seven long years of litigation, Google Inc. and the Association of American Publishers have reached an agreement to settle over the search giant’s book-scanning project, which will allow publishers to choose whether or not they want their books, journals and publications digitized by Google and accessed via its Google Library Project.
The agreement, according to the two companies, acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright holders, so U.S. publishers can choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project, or choose to keep their publications available.
For those that keep their works online with Google, those publishers will be able to keep a digital copy for their own use and sell their publications via the Google Play marketplace.
But Thursday’s settlement does not affect Google’s current litigation with the Authors Guild.
“Google continues to profit from its use of millions of copyright-protected books without regard to authors’ rights, and our class-action lawsuit on behalf of U.S. authors continues,” Paul Aiken, executive director, Authors Guild said
Google was sued in 2005 by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers for violating copyright laws, but reached an earlier settlement by agreeing to pay $125 million to people whose copyrighted books have been scanned, and to locate and share revenue with the authors who have yet to come forward.
But critics contended the settlement gave Google an unfair competitive advantage. A federal court agreed, and rejected the earlier settlement.