October 29, 2008

$125 Million Settlement in Authors' Guild vs. Google Books

Authors, publishers, and Google are announcing a huge settlement deal today in their lawsuits over the scanning of millions of copyrighted books in library collections. Google has agreed to a huge payout for books that were scanned without permission, but now they'll be allowed to scan the books legitimately. Most importantly, they'll be able to put millions of books online, including those still in copyright — not just for searching and not just as snippets.

The groundbreaking new licensing system, hammered out during the trial and agreed to by both sides, is meant to make the books as widely available as possible, while protecting the authors' copyrights and enabling them to share in the revenue.

Some of you might differ, but I think, both as a publisher and an avid reader, that the outcome is beneficial for our authors and readers alike. Hence I commend Google and the Authors' Guild for creating this new sign post in our wild digital frontiers, that hopefully will make navigating and expanding it much easier.

You can read the settlement details here.