Google Settles with American Publishers Over Scanned Books

Google and the Association of American Publishers announced on Thursday a settlement in a long standing lawsuit over Google's project to scan all of the books of the world. Publishers, authors, and other groups have objected to the project—some of them have sued—but publishers have reached an agreement with the search giant that leaves them in control over which books are included in the project.

Deal with the Devil

TMO Artist's Interpretation of Settlement

The Wall Street Journal reported that Google has scanned more than 20 million books, and at issue was the part where Google was scanning the books and making them available to search without permission from...anyone.

In 2005, the Association of American Publishers sued. That suit resulted in an earlier settlement that was subsequently thrown out by a judge after the objections of other interested parties. The new settlement involves only those publishers and Google, and the two entities said that it won't require court approval.

"We are pleased that this settlement addresses the issues that led to the litigation," Tom Allen, president and CEO of the publishers group, said in a statement. "It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright-holders."

The deal not only gives publishers the power to decide which books are included in the project, it also limits users to reading 20 percent of the digitized books online with an option to purchase the entire book on Google Play, the company's online Android store.

The Authors Guild is still duking it out with publishers, and it remains to be seen if the settlement with publishers has an effect on that litigation. The New York Times reported that it could give Google some momentum with Authors, who now fighting alone.

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