Publishers and Google reach agreement in Google Books case

The American Assn. of Publishers and Google announced that they have reached an agreement in the Google Books scanning case, filed almost seven years ago. The agreement need not be ratified by a judge to be implemented.

The publishers involved in the case are the McGraw-Hill Cos., John Wiley & Sons, Simon & Schuster, and Pearson Education Inc. and Penguin Group (U.S.A.), both part of Pearson.

The companies brought suit over a massive scanning project, in which Google worked with seven major university libraries to scan their collections, with the intention of making a digitized library available to all. The full terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but a news release made clear that these publishers can choose to make their works available to Google for the project, or choose to have them removed.

The release says, in part, "Google Books allows users to browse up to 20% of books and then purchase digital versions through Google Play. Under the agreement, books scanned by Google in the Library Project can now be included by publishers." Publishers may also make individual agreements going forward.

Other parties with disputes in the case, including the Authors Guild, were not part of this agreement.


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