Google this week settle a two year long copyright lawsuit with the Authors Guild of America and five members of the Association of American Publishers.
Roy Blount Jr, president of the Authors Guild, said in a statement that the Guild took legal action against the search giant, after Google struck deals with major university libraries to scan and copy millions of books in their collections. Blount explains that while many of these were older books in the public domain, millions of others were still under copyright protection. The Guild said Google’s scanning was “a plain and brazen violation of copyright law,” although the Mountain View company maintained that the digitizing of these books represented a “fair use” of the material, the Guild thought otherwise.
Google, the Guild and the Association of American Publishers yesterday announced that the three had come to an agreement with regard to already scanned copyright protected books and laid out prospective plans for future revenues. Google says it will give payments totaling $125 million. The money will be used to establish the Book Rights Registry, to resolve existing claims by authors and publishers and to cover legal fees. Blount said in a statement there will be at least $45 million for authors and publishers whose in-copyright books and other copyrighted texts have been scanned without permission
Blount went on to say that rights holders will receive a share of revenues from institutional subscriptions to the collection of books made available through Google Book Search under the settlement, as well as from sales of online consumer access to the books and will also be paid for printouts at public libraries, as well as for other uses.
Check out Google’s Book Search here.