Google announced today that it has reached a settlement with the Association of American Publishers, ending seven years of litigation over a copyright infringement suit filed in October of 2005.
Google says the settlement acknowledges the "rights and interests of copyright-holders," and that U.S. publishers can choose to make available or choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google. Those who don't remove their works will receive the option to receive a digital copy for their own use.
Under the settlement, Google Books allows users to browse up to 20% of books, and then purchase digital versions through Google Play.
“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.”
“Google is a company that puts innovation front and center with all that it does,” said David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, Google. “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 via Google Play.”
The settlement does not require court approval, and further terms of the agreement are being kept confidential.