Settlement Announced in Google Lawsuit

On October 28, 2008, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Authors Guild (AG), and Google announced a settlement resolving the lawsuits filed by publishers and authors in 2005. If approved, the agreement may expand online access to in-copyright books and other written materials digitized from U.S. library collections participating in Google Book Search, while recognizing and recompensing copyright holders.

The terms of the settlement require Google to make payments totaling $125 million. These payments will be used to establish the Book Rights Registry, to resolve existing claims by authors and publishers, and to cover legal fees. The terms of the agreement would improve access to out-of print books, implement additional ways to purchase copyrighted books, create institutional subscriptions to the digitized collections, and offer free access from designated computers at public and university libraries.

The settlement is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Approval will be decided after May 5, 2009, the deadline set for filing objections to the settlement terms.

AAUP's lawyer, Linda Steinman, has written a memo for members explaining the basic terms of the settlement in the publishers' and Authors Guild's suits against Google. A roundup of the Google program can be accessed here: http://aaupnet.org/policy-areas/copyright-a-access/copyright-a-permissions/current-litigation-a-legislative-action/google

The Author's Guild has compiled a listing of information and resources regarding the settlement: http://www.authorsguild.org/advocacy/articles/settlement-resources.html

Covered in Publishers Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6609089.html

Reactions to the settlement in the Library Journal: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6610115.html?nid=2673&rid=reg_visitor_id&source=title