Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Settlement

Oct 31, 2008

The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google have announced a settlement agreement on behalf of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search. The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, would resolve a class-action lawsuit, Authors Guild v. Google, brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; Pearson Education, Inc. and Penguin Group (USA) Inc., both part of Pearson; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; and Simon & Schuster, Inc. part of CBS Corporation, as representatives of the AAP’s membership. The class action is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Under the agreement, Google will make payments totaling $125 million. The money will be used to establish the Book Rights Registry, to resolve existing claims by authors and publishers and to cover legal fees.