Today, Google announced a settlement with authors and publishers in the class action lawsuits over Google Book Search. The settlement still needs to be approved by a New York federal court, but under the plan, Google will:
- pay authors and publishers $125 million, part of which will be used to create a Book Rights Registry allowing copyright owners to register their works and receive a share of subscriptions, book sales and ad revenues;
- allow users to purchase full books, saved to an "electronic bookshelf;"
- will offer institutional subscriptions, including a free online portal for public libraries;
- will point users to locations to buy or borrow searched books.
The settlement also says that authors and publishers will be able to activate "preview" and "purchase" modes for books that are in-print and copyrighted, as well as monetize out-of-print books that are digitized by Google.
You can find more information from the settlement agreement website, the official Google blog, the Authors Guild (advocacy organization for authors), and the Association of American Publishers (trade association for U.S. commercial publishers)
Stay tuned for more as we digest the complete settlement agreement.
UPDATE: We have posted our additional thoughts about the settlement agreement here.