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Publisher/Author Settlement Agreement with Google Opens Door for Full Online Access to Millions of Books

A settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit against Google over access to copyrighted material in Google Books.

From the AP:

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."

Under the deal, Google will pay $125 million to establish a Book Rights Registry to resolve royalty claims.

Google suggests how this might change things...

Until now, we've only been able to show a few snippets of text for most of the in-copyright books we've scanned through our Library Project. Since the vast majority of these books are out of print, to actually read them you'd have to hunt them down at a library or a used bookstore....

This agreement will create new options for reading entire books (which is, after all, what books are there for).

  • Online access - Once this agreement has been approved, you'll be able to purchase full online access to millions of books. This means you can read an entire book from any Internet-connected computer, simply by logging in to your Book Search account, and it will remain on your electronic bookshelf, so you can come back and access it whenever you want in the future.
  • Library and university access - We'll also be offering libraries, universities and other organizations the ability to purchase institutional subscriptions, which will give users access to the complete text of millions of titles while compensating authors and publishers for the service. Students and researchers will have access to an electronic library that combines the collections from many of the top universities across the country. Public and university libraries in the U.S. will also be able to offer terminals where readers can access the full text of millions of out-of-print books for free.

See the Google Book Press Center for the text of the agreement and other related documents, including the Library Opportunities from Google's agreement with Authors and Publishers.


With today's information and technological advancement, copyrignt dispute is one prevalent problem. It is good that Google had already made arrangements to prevent further disputes.

Google's intention might have been noble. But the law is the law. Dura lex sed lex, they say. The law may be harsh but it is still the law. What makes them more noble though is to proceed with this venture despite the multi-million dollar worth of lesson on copyright infringement law.

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