Google has settled lawsuits brought against it by major publishers and authors that argued that Google’s wholesale scanning and indexing of in-copyright books without permission amounted to massive copyright violations.
The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google announced the settlement on Tuesday and will hold a press conference to discuss it further.
The lawsuits were brought after Google launched a program to scan and index books from the libraries of major universities without always getting permission from the copyright owners of the books.
Google then made the text of the books searchable on its book search engine, although it argued it was protected by the fair use principle because it only showed snippets of text for in-copyright books it had scanned without permission.
The settlement comes after two years of negotiations and resolves a class-action lawsuit brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers as representatives of the AAP’s membership, Google and publisher groups said.
The settlement must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
(More to come.)