Publishers Settle With Google Over Library Project

Posted on 10/17/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google have announced a settlement agreement that will provide the Google Library Project with access to books and journals that are still protected by copyright. Now, Google may digitize new books as well as make the contents of books already scanned available online.
In 2004, Google launched the Google Books Project with the goal of digitizing thousands of books from major public libraries. In October 2005 the Association of American Publishers (AAP) on behalf of five of its members (The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., Pearson Education, Inc., Penguin Group (USA) Inc., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Simon & Schuster, Inc) and the Authors Guild filed suit against Google claiming massive copyright infringement. The dismissal of the lawsuit ends seven years of litigation.

Google Books allows users to browse up to 20% of a given book and then purchase a digital version through Google Play. The financial terms between the parties was not disclosed. Publishers retain the rights to remove titles from the archive. Google has also agreed to supply publishers with digital copies for their own use of titles that remain in the archives.

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.

According to Nancy Wolff, Picture Archive Council of American (PACA) Counsel, “The settlement does not affect the ongoing litigation (over ‘orphan works’) with the Authors Guild and authors' class. That case has been briefed on the merits of Google's fair use defense but has been stayed pending Google's recent appeal to the Second Circuit of the District Court's decision to grant class action status to the authors' class.” For her complete analysis see here.

Copyright © 2012 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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