Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ooh, ooh, there's more!

Google has worked out a settlement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers over Google’s book-scanning project.

The company and the book groups said Google would pay $125 million and legal fees to resolve claims by authors and publishers. Several universities have agreed to let Google scan their libraries and make the texts fully searchable online. But the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers sued in 2005, arguing that the plan violated copyright protections.

Google’s payment will go toward the creation of a Book Rights Registry, which would allow holders of United States copyrights on books to register their work so they can get a cut of Internet ad revenue and online book sales.

According to a statement issued Tuesday by the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers and Google, the agreement “will expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search.”
(New York Times October 28, 2008, crediting Associated Press)

Tip of the hat to Judith Wright, who posted a brief note to lawlibdir-l about the press announcement Google released about this. It actually means that perhaps the copyrighted materials in the GoogleBooks project (and maybe the HathiTrust, too!) may become accessible to searchers on a pay-per-view basis. That would actually be more profitable to the authors any way, and certainly make the materials more useful.

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