Google has entered into an agreement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers to settle two lawsuits over Google’s Book Search project. This settlement will allow more materials to be easily accessible online while also ensuring that copyright holders are able to receive compensation for their works.
In 2004, Google started scanning books and making their text available online, accessible through the Google search engine. In 2005, several publishers and authors filed a class action lawsuit, claiming that Google had violated US copyright law.
Under the agreement, Google will pay $125 million. These funds will go toward resolving the authors’ and publishers’ existing claims, establishing the Book Rights Registry and paying legal fees. US copyright holders will be able to register their works with the Book Rights Registry and receive cash payment if their works have already been digitized. Following registration, they will also be entitled to compensation from book sales, ad revenues institutional subscriptions and other possible revenue models.
The agreement requires approval by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.