Google has reached an agreement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), which represented a broad class of authors and publishers to expand online access to in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. The publications will come from the library collections participating in Google Book Search.
The agreement was reached after two years of negotiations. The deal includes Google dishing out $125 million to establish the Book Rights Registry, which would resolve an existing class action lawsuit brought by the groups.
If the court approves, the agreement allows:
- More Access to Out-of-Print Books -- Generating greater exposure for millions of in-copyright works, including hard-to-find out-of-print books, by enabling readers in the U.S. to search these works and preview them online
- Additional Ways to Purchase Copyrighted Books -- Building off publishers' and authors' current efforts and further expanding the electronic market for copyrighted books in the U.S., by offering users the ability to purchase online access to many in-copyright books
- Institutional Subscriptions to Millions of Books Online --Offering a means for U.S. colleges, universities and other organizations to obtain subscriptions for online access to collections from some of the world's most renowned libraries
- Free Access From U.S. Libraries -- Providing free, full-text, online viewing of millions of out-of-print books at designated computers in U.S. public and university libraries
- Compensation to Authors and Publishers and Control Over Access to Their Works -- Distributing payments earned from online access provided by Google and, prospectively, from similar programs that may be established by other providers, through a newly created independent, not-for-profit Book Rights Registry that will also locate rightsholders, collect and maintain accurate rightsholder information, and provide a way for rightsholders to request inclusion in or exclusion from the project.
"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Today, together with the authors, publishers, and libraries, we have been able to make a great leap in this endeavor," said Sergey Brin, co-founder & president of technology at Google. "While this agreement is a real win-win for all of us, the real victors are all the readers. The tremendous wealth of knowledge that lies within the books of the world will now be at their
What do you think about the agreement? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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