Authors Guild vs Google
This decade-long battle between Google and the Authors Guild has ended with the Supreme Court declining to hear the Guild’s appeal. Instead, the Court upheld a lower court ruling that found the company’s actions were fair uses of the rights of authors and publishers. In addition, the Second Circuit refused to certify a class.
The settlement was reached after two years of negotiations between Google and the authors’ guild. It includes provisions that will extend access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials across the U.S. The settlement resolves both the class-action lawsuit filed by book authors and the separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers. The settlement must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The settlement with the Authors Guild
The Authors Guild recently announced a landmark settlement with Google and the Association of American Publishers. In addition to highlighting the details of the settlement, they also shared links and documents. In addition, they announced a new deadline for objecting to the amended settlement and filing a notice of intent to appear at a Fairness Hearing.
The settlement covers authors who have published books or have written articles that appear in published books. This could include excerpts you gave the author permission to use or articles that were published in an edited anthology. In the case of published books, the settlement will split the payment between the publisher and the author unless the book has already been reverted. The settlement must be approved by the courts in order to become official.
Issues with Google’s licensing regime for books
Google’s plan to digitize millions of books is raising issues with publishers and authors. The company wants to create a searchable database of book content that helps researchers find relevant titles. But this plan has been met with legal challenges. In 2011, a federal judge rejected Google’s settlement with publishers and authors, despite its promise to create a free library of all books.
Publishers are concerned that Google’s license could be illegal. But the company has offered to settle the case in exchange for some sweeping changes. The amended settlement agreement, which was submitted to the court in November 2009, limits Google’s licensing regime to foreign books registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. It also adds British and Canadian board members and creates a fiduciary to hold payments for orphan works. But even then, authors may still face legal challenges.
Impact of Google’s scanning program on libraries
The impact of Google’s scanning program on libraries is still unclear. Unless the publisher agrees to opt-out, Google will scan copyrighted books from libraries. The resulting image of a book will contain minimal text and no ads so that people can read the entire book. However, users will not be able to print or download the book. The scanning program halted in August but is set to resume on Nov. 1, according to a Google statement.
Google’s scanning program is part of Google’s efforts to digitize every book on Earth. The project began in 2002 when the search giant’s employees, Larry Page and Marissa Mayer, were curious about how long it would take to digitize 100 million books. They set a metronome to keep time and scanned a 300-page book in 40 minutes.
Future of Google Editions
Google is working to develop an e-book service that is browser-based and works offline. This means that there won’t be any DRM problems, and users will be able to read books on any device. While no specific date has been set, the new service is expected to be available in the summer.
Google users will notice the new four-colour icons on Google services in the “coming weeks”. The company is also introducing a new version of Gmail that includes Chat and Rooms. In addition, the company is changing its pricing model for G Suite. Users will still be able to sign up for their current contracts, but they will be able to choose between Essentials and Business Editions. The Essentials edition is designed for teams and departments and comes with features such as Docs and Meet.