The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search.
The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, promises to benefit readers and researchers and enhance the ability of authors and publishers to distribute their content in digital form. This is to be achieved by significantly expanding online access to works through Google Book Search, an ambitious effort to make millions of books searchable via the Web.
If approved by the court, the agreement would provide a range of benefits including greater access to out of print books.
“This historic settlement is a win for everyone,” said Richard Sarnoff, Chairman of the Association of American Publishers.
“From our perspective, the agreement creates an innovative framework for the use of copyrighted material in a rapidly digitizing world, serves readers by enabling broader access to a huge trove of hard-to-find books, and benefits the publishing community by establishing an attractive commercial model that offers both control and choice to the rights-holder.”
Sergey Brin, co-founder & president of technology at Google said, “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Today, together with the authors, publishers, and libraries, we have been able to make a great leap in this endeavour.”
He added, “While this agreement is a real win-win for all of us, the real victors are all the readers. The tremendous wealth of knowledge that lies within the books of the world will now be at their fingertips.”
For the moment only Google Book Search users in the United States will be able to access and purchase the products and services offered under the project. Outside the United States, the users’ experience with Google Book Search will be unchanged, unless the offering of such products and services is authorized by the rights-holder of a book.