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After 7 Years In Court, Google Settles With Publishers On Book Scanning 127

Posted by timothy
from the you've-been-organized-as-part-fo-the-world's-data dept.
redletterdave writes "After seven long years of litigation, Google Inc. and the Association of American Publishers have reached an agreement to settle over the search giant's book-scanning project, which will allow publishers to choose whether or not they want their books, journals and publications digitized by Google and accessed via its Google Library Project. The agreement, according to the two companies, acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright holders, so U.S. publishers can choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project, or choose to keep their publications available. For those that keep their works online with Google, those publishers will be able to keep a digital copy for their own use and sell their publications via the Google Play marketplace." Also reported by Reuters, as carried by the Chicago Tribune, and the BBC.
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After 7 Years In Court, Google Settles With Publishers On Book Scanning

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  • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:04PM (#41551419) Journal

    so U.S. publishers can choose...

    What about the rest of the world? If the US publisher of a particular book says 'no' and the British publisher says 'yes' does the book get scanned or not? Does it get scanned but censored in the US? What about books with no US publisher?

  • Re:Intensely idiotic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:10PM (#41551473) Homepage

    Is this a trick question? How is "fair use" not applicable?
    This is absolutely no different from the "scanning" and "putting up" that google does of every other part of the internet. Why should the fact that it started out in a grossly inefficient medium be any distinction whatsoever?

  • by realsilly (186931) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:25PM (#41551621)

    That's ashamed it took 7 years to agree to something that summed up sounds so reasonably easy to agree to.

    *sigh* sounds like the lawyers milked both sides for all they were both worth.

  • Re:Intensely idiotic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by icebike (68054) * on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:29PM (#41551667)

    I though the publishers are on the right here. What gives google the right to scan and put up copyrighted work on their website, without the permissions of the copyright holder?

    You have to sort of pay attention to what was really happening all along....

    Previously, you could only get a fair use sample of a book, a few pages at best, in response to a search. You couldn't get the whole book. You got less than what a public library would allow you to photocopy in house.

    At no time was google providing entire books still in copyright from known publishers and authors.

    Now you get up to 20% on line. (The publishers finally figured out that if you read 20%, you are more likely to buy the book to get the rest).

  • by DickBreath (207180) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:33PM (#41551707) Homepage
    Don't be evil.

    I hope Google does the right thing and publishes a list of all publishers who opt out of Google's book scanning project. The list should be public and searchable.

    That makes it clear to authors which publishers are clueless. if an author publishes his book with one of these publishers, the author just made sure his book is not searchable by the best search tool on the planet.

    As a consumer, not only will I not happen to find any books from these clueless publishers, I would like such a list so that I can actively avoid buying from such clueless publishers.

    Let evolution take its course. Dinosaur publishers who don't want Google searching their books. Etc.
  • Re:Intensely idiotic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tilante (2547392) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @03:03PM (#41551989)

    If the publishers were sure that what Google was doing wouldn't come under fair use, they could have taken Google to court. They chose not to, which means that they aren't sure that it wouldn't be considered fair use by a court.

    To give the physical analogy that Google would undoubtedly use, it's common practice for libraries to buy books and allow anyone to browse them in order to determine whether the book is one they're interested in. It's also common practice for libraries to have photocopiers available at a nominal charge, so that people can make copies of portions of the available books. Both of these things are perfectly legal under US copyright law. Indeed, Section 108 of the Copyright Act states that public libraries and public archives may allow patrons to freely copy materials, and cannot be held liable for such copying so long as they display a specific notice on each piece of copying equipment. The end user can be held liable, but the library or archive cannot.

    Thus, there's ample precedent that what Google is allowing through their online archive is, in fact, perfectly legal. This is why the publishers chose to settle rather than go to court - they were afraid that a court might allow Google even greater leeway.

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