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October 28, 2008

Google Settles Author Suit

Google has made nice with book publishers upset over Google's book scanning project.  They had sued over copyright concerns given that Google hadn't asked for permission to scan complete titles and place snippets of in-copyright titles in the search engine.  Google countered with the fair use argument and the game was on.  As a side note, Microsoft sanctimoniously entered the fray by licensing titles to scan, only later to get bored with the project and abandoning it completely.

The terms as described in the press call for Google to pay plaintiffs $125 million dollars.  For that Google sets up a rights registry of out of print but in copyright titles with information as to who may own the rights making sure the right parties get paid royalties on book views.  Libraries will be able to buy subscriptions to the entire book library.  Google will sell access to books owned by rights holders to individuals and share revenue with publishers.  Scanning will continue content under this arrangement.  The agreement only covers the United States.

More information is in PC Magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.  [MG]

October 28, 2008 | Permalink

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