Google Gives Up Fair-Use Defense, Settles Book-Scanning Lawsuit With Publishers
Big news on the digital reading front.
Google and five publishers said Thursday they are settling one of its long-running legal flaps over the media giant’s scanning of university library books without permission. The deal is a huge concession by Google, which up until now had maintained it had a fair-use right under copyright law and did not need permission from rights holders to scan the digital library of the future.
The case was being closely followed by the intellectual-property community, as it tested the limits of the fair-use defenses to copyright infringement.
“The settlement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright-holders. U.S. publishers can choose to make available or choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project,” the companies said in a joint statement. Google scanned copyrighted works under the theory that indexing and displaying portions of copyrighted works counted as fair use, with no permission needed.
Other terms of the deal remain confidential. The deal was brokered with some of the biggest names in publishing, including: the McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson Education, Penguin Group, John Wiley & Sons and Simon & Shuster.