BTB #321: Publishers, Google Settle “Books Case” Lawsuit

Andrew AlbaneseA pair of Frankfurt Book Fairs have made appropriate book-ends to the longstanding Google Books lawsuit. Brought in October 2005 against Google by the Association of American Publishers and, separately, the Authors Guild, the suit charged copyright infringement. Today, October 4, less than a week ahead of the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, the Internet giant and the publishers’ group have announced they reached an out-of-court settlement.

“The deal comes after nearly seven years of litigation, including three years of stumping for a controversial settlement, which was rejected by Judge Denny Chin in March, 2011,” Andrew Albanese of Publishers Weekly tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “Publishers had sought a declaration that Google’s scanning was copyright infringement, and an injunction barring the activity. Google countered that its scanning was fair use. The suit was later joined with a similar suit that had been filed by the Authors Guild. The Authors Guild litigation, meanwhile, is ongoing, although it has been stayed while the Second Circuit considers an appeal of Judge Chin’s decision to certify the case as a class action.”

Also today, CCC has released a statement on the settlement, noting that, “Today’s news not only further establishes the value of copyright, but also points to the importance of working with rightsholders when undertaking mass digitization. Collaboration is key when it comes to copyright.”

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