After seven years, Google book scanning litigation ends
October 10, 2012 | 1:00 pm
By Dan Eldridge
We were remiss in not mentioning that Google and the Association of American Publishers managed to reach a settlement last week in the controversial and long-running Google book scanning case. According to a statement released by the APP on October 4, the bottom line is this:
The settlement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright-holders. 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.
“We are pleased that this settlement addresses the issues that led to the litigation,” said Tom Allen, President and CEO, AAP. “It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright-holders.”
I can’t imagine anyone will be arguing against the outcome of the settlement. It’s plainly obvious that giving publishers an actual choice as to whether or not a hugely powerful tech company can scan their books or not is the right thing to do.
Journalist Claire Cain Miller filed a great piece about the settlement for the New York Times on October 4; if you’re interested in reading up on all the various details, I’d suggest giving it a look. “Though the settlement will not change much about the way that Google and publishers already partner,” Miller writes, “it is the newest signpost for defining copyright in the Internet age. It is also the latest evidence of the shift to e-books from print, and of Google’s efforts to compete with e-book rivals like Amazon.com.”
Also recommended: This Publishers Weekly piece, which goes into even greater (and slightly more complicated) detail.
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