The Google Library Project came up against stiff opposition in 2005, when the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit protesting the inclusion of its members' works in the search giant's digital catalogue. The seven-year saga came to an end this week as the two parties came to an agreement which will allow publishers to independently decide whether or not to include their content in Google's eBook initiatives.
Since the settlement was reached without involvement from the judicial system, the terms of the deal do not have to be approved by a court or publicly disclosed in full. But, according to Publishers Weekly, officials have confirmed that authors electing to opt-in to Google's digitization project will be provided with their own electronic copy of the work to disseminate at their own discretion as part of separate commercialization strategies.
"We are pleased that this settlement addresses the issues that led to the litigation," AAP president Tom Allen explained. "It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright holders."
While Google may count this as a victory, according to CNET, the AAP case does not affect a similar but separate lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild. Representatives from the organization have already confirmed that they are still as determined as ever to expose what they believe is a royalty management scheme that has allowed Google to amass significant profits without regard for authors' rights.