Association of American Publishers, Google End Seven Year Old Copyright Battle

As thousands of authors claim that search engine giant Google is illegally profiting from their works, a 7 year long legal battle between several members of the Association of American Publishers and Google over digital copyrights has been settled.  On Thursday, October 4th announcements were made that a federal lawsuit filed in 2005 by Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster, McGraw-Hill Companies and other publishers has ended.  The lawsuit was filed by members of the Association of American Publishers after Google made it possible for users to find books in digital form by performing a search on the Internet.  These digital duplicates were allegedly scanned from libraries.

In 2011, a $125 million settlement was reached by the involved parties, however a judge rejected the settlement.  A press release issued by both parties as part of the latest agreement states, “U.S. 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.”

Google has long stood on the premises that their Library Project should be an “opt-out” program wherein publishers have the option to remove their works, whereas publishers felt that it should be an “opt-in” program.  According to the press release and recent agreement, it appears more in favor of Google’s theory.

The $125 million settlement basically unraveled as it was felt that Google would have the authority to duplicate books; if a publisher or author did not want their books copied, they would have to notify Google.

The new agreement is not a big change from how Google had been handling copyright-protected books since legal issues began back in 2005.  Basically, it is believed the scaled-down agreement will make more books that are copyright-protected available online, the majority of them through Google Play.  Publishers will have the authority to completely remove their works from Google’s search index, or release digital copies in Google Play.

Because the number of people reading digital books has grown exponentially over the past few years, publishers and Google have been motivated to determine a way to work together, Google in particular since the release of Google’s tablet computer the Nexus 7 in July.

Terms of the recent settlement have not been revealed, however it has been stated that court approval will not be required due to the terms being applicable only to the parties signing on.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 at 5:51 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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