SAN FRANCISCO — After seven years of litigation, Google and book publishers have reached a settlement to allow Google to digitize books and journals.
It was a small step forward for the plan to digitize every book and make them readable and searchable online, known as the Google Library Project, but it did not resolve the much bigger issue standing in Google’s way: litigation between Google and authors.
Thursday’s agreement with the Association of American Publishers had been expected. Publishers involved in the settlement are McGraw-Hill Cos., Pearson Education, Penguin Group, John Wiley & Sons, and Simon & Schuster.
The deal allows publishers to choose whether to allow Google to digitize out-of-print books that are still under copyright protection. If Google does so, Google will provide them with a digital copy for their own use. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The bigger case, between Google and the Authors Guild, is tied up in court.
The groups representing authors and publishers sued Google in 2005, arguing that its digital book-scanning violated their copyrights. After years of litigation, they agreed to a $125 million settlement, but it was rejected last year by a federal judge.