News Column

Google and Publishers Settle Book-scanning Lawsuit

Oct. 4, 2012

San Francisco (dpa) - Google has reached a settlement with five major US publishers over the search company's scanning of millions of library books without permission, the parties to the dispute announced Thursday.

The publishers claimed that the scans violated copyright laws, whereas Google maintained that showing scanned clippings of the books in search results was allowable under the fair use doctrine.

Under the terms of the deal US publishers McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Penguin Group, John Wiley & Sons and Simon & Schuster can now choose whether to make their books and articles available for scanning or have them removed, according to the statement.

Further terms of the deal were not announced, but it does not effect a lawsuit filed on the same matter by a group representing authors. The agreement does not need court approval since it is considered a private settlement between the publishers and Google rather than a class action settlement.

"By putting this litigation with the publishers behind us, we can stay focused on our core mission and work to increase the number of books available to educate, excite and entertain our users," David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, said in a statement.

"We are pleased that this settlement addresses the issues that led to the litigation," said Tom Allen, chief executive officer of the publishers' association. "It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright holders."

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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