Wednesday 13 November 2019

Google and US publishers settle book copyright case

GOOGLE has settled its seven-year copyright dispute with US publishers over the right to digitise books for its Google Library Project.

The American Association of Publishers (AAP) said the Google Library Project will now receive access to in-copyright books from its members. Under the agreement, publishers will have the right to remove their books from Google Library if they choose.

Tom Allen, president and chief executive of the AAP, said: "We are pleased that this settlement addresses the issues that led to the litigation. It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright-holders."

Those publishers who choose to make their books available to Google's Library Project will receive a digital copy of the book that they can use to produce their own ebooks.

David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, said: "By putting this litigation with the publishers behind us, we can stay focused on our core mission and work to increase the number of books available to educate, excite and entertain our users via Google Play."

Five AAP publishers - The McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson Education, Penguin Group, John Wiley & Sons and Simon & Schuster - filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Google in October 2005 over the search engine's plans to create the world's largest digital library.

Google is also facing legal action from the Authors Guild of America over the Library Project and that case is ongoing. Google has already scanned more than 20 million books for its digital library without obtaining prior permission from the authors and publishers.

Forty libraries, including the Bodleian in Oxford, have also given Google permission to scan and digitise their collection of important and historic texts. For library partners in Europe, Google is only scanning out-of-copyright works.

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