Google & Publishers Settle After Seven Years

By Jason Boog 

After seven years of litigation, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google today have reached a settlement so Google can continue to “provide access” to books digitized through its Google Library Project.

Authors Guild executive director Paul Aiken weighed in with this statement: “The publishers’ private settlement, whatever its terms, does not resolve the authors’ copyright infringement claims against Google. Google continues to profit from its use of millions of copyright-protected books without regard to authors’ rights, and our class-action lawsuit on behalf of U.S. authors continues.”

With the new agreement, publishers can choose to include and sell copies of eBooks digitized through the Google Library Project in the Google Play marketplace. The publishers involved in the suit are McGraw-Hill Companies; Pearson’s Pearson Education and Penguin Group (USA); John Wiley & Sons and Simon & Schuster.

While the exact terms of the settlement are confidential, here’s more from the release: “As the settlement is between the parties to the litigation, the court is not required to approve its terms. The settlement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright-holders.  US publishers can choose to make available or choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project.  Those deciding not to remove their works will have the option to receive a digital copy for their use. Apart from the settlement, US publishers can continue to make individual agreements with Google for use of their other digitally-scanned works.”

Editor’s Note: This post was updated as the story evolved.