Millennium Post

Google, publishers reach agreement

Google and US publishing firms announced on Thursday that they have reached a settlement in a long-running copyright case over books and journals digitised by the Internet giant.

The settlement 'will provide access to publishers' in-copyright books and journals digitised by Google for its Google Library Project' and 'will end seven years of litigation,' Google said in a joint statement with the Association of American Publishers. The agreement ends a copyright infringement lawsuit filed in October 2005 by five AAP member publishers.

Because the settlement is between the parties to the litigation, no court approval is needed. But the deal will not affect another long-running lawsuit involving the Authors Guild for the massive Google Books project.

The settlement with the publishers 'acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright-holders,' the statement said.

 'US publishers can choose to make available or choose to remove their books and journals digitised 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 chief executive of AAP. 'It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright-holders.'
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