Google & Publishers Settle Google Library Lawsuit By Agreeing To What Google Offered Seven Years Ago

from the give-'em-enough-rope dept

As we've been covering for years, there has been a series of legal issues going on around Google's efforts to scan books and make them indexable/searchable. It appears that one of the earliest legal efforts against Google, from the Association of American Publishers (AAP), over the "Google Library" projects has now been settled:
The settlement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright-holders. US publishers can choose to make available or choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project. Those deciding not to remove their works will have the option to receive a digital copy for their use.

Apart from the settlement, US publishers can continue to make individual agreements with Google for use of their other digitally-scanned works.
This is not a repeat of the very different and problematic original Google Books settlement that was rejected -- as that tried to create a much larger "deal" that went way beyond what the case covered. This time around, the settlement doesn't require court approval, because it doesn't go beyond the specific parties in the lawsuit. While this lawsuit went on for seven years, this settlement more or less seems to be a suggestion that (a) publishers have finally realized that having Google scan all their books and make them easier to find is actually good for them and (b) the few publishers who are still unable to grasp this are still allowed to shoot themselves in the foot and opt-out of the project. Of course, this isn't any different than what Google was offering publishers all along. Basically, this settlement is AAP admitting that the entire lawsuit was a waste of time and money.

While it may have been interesting to have seen how the court would have ruled in this case, on the whole this settlement makes sense for both parties -- just as Google's original offer to publishers did. It lets the project move forward seriously, and the few clueless publishers who don't get it can (still) take themselves out of one of the best tools for finding their books, proving why they're bad at modern publishing. When your opponent in a lawsuit agrees to settle it in a way that lets you do basically everything you've wanted to do from the beginning, and the only condition is that clueless plaintiffs can hurt themselves... you pretty much have to agree to it. The only amazing thing is that it took the AAP seven years of litigation to effectively admit that they're fine with what Google offered them from the start.


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    Tim K (profile), Oct 4th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    But, But...

    But, but, Piracy, Big Search, stealing, blargg...Google isn't doing this out of the goodness of there heart, blah blah blah...Oh, the AAP is ok with it, well then, there's probably nothing wrong with Google scanning the books then

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2012 @ 11:33am

      Re: But, But...

      The thing is that publishers don't care if something is good for them - they care if it's good for someone else. If someone else makes money, then that someone should have to pay the publishers.

      I wish I were making this up, but that's essentially what a publisher told me at a copyright hearing - they didn't care if a technological innovation made them more money - if the company responsible for that innovation is making money, they should have to pay the publishers whatever the publishers want.

       

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        Lord Binky, Oct 4th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

        Re: Re: But, But...

        It's funny because it's completely demented morals being used as a business reasoning.

        'As a respectable business, I can't stand by and make more money from someone else providing a service that makes use of my assets, without them paying for that use. It is not about making money, it is about the principle of it!’

        So the thought process must be ‘Without my _____, their service could not exist. They owe me money for their existence.’

        Compare that entitled thought process to a business oriented thought process.

        ‘Without my _____, their service could not exist. I pay them a small sum of money for their service which makes my business a larger sum of money selling _____. It’s like gambling when your cheating! PROFIT!’

         

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      Bengie, Oct 4th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

      Re: But, But...

      "Google isn't doing this out of the goodness of there heart"

      Bah, nothing is out of the "goodness" of someone's heart.

      Why does a mother love her child? because she gets a good feeling from it. Why does a priest help the sinful? Because he thinks it makes him a better person.

      Everything anyone ever does is for selfish reasons, some just line up with what's good for others.

      In this case, Google's selfish-want to digitize books lines up with the good for the majority.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

        Re: Re: But, But...

        The good feeling the mother gets is the goodness in her heart!

         

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        ChrisB (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:37am

        Re: Re: But, But...

        > Everything anyone ever does is for selfish reasons

        You are wrong because of kin selection. Altruism is real. Read the Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    well... it does say

    "Further terms of the agreement are confidential."

    So, we can't be sure if there's some hidden piece that AAP is getting out of the settlement.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    if there's no room for sense, you cant put it in! what a shame that there are so many other short sighted idiots treading the same path!!

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 4th, 2012 @ 11:36am

      Re: You sparked an image in my brain:

      There they are; packing for a trip; talking to themselves...

      "I've got all this good sense laying around the house... maybe I should bring some with me? ... Naw!"

       

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    DannyB (profile), Oct 4th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    The clueless help identify themselves very visibly

    > and the few clueless publishers who don't get it can
    > (still) take themselves out of one of the best tools for
    > finding their books, proving why they're bad at modern
    > publishing

    . . . and help authors know which publishers to avoid.

    I hope Google makes public which publishers opt out of its book scanning project. This helps authors know which publishers to avoid. It creates a highly visible, searchable, sortable list of the clueless publishers.

     

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      Ben (profile), Oct 4th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

      Re: The clueless help identify themselves very visibly

      Note that Google will still be digitizing those books, they just won't make the digital versions available outside of Google. This allows them to include them later if the publishers change their mind, as well as for them to do their own meta-analysis including all books.

      But I agree -- I'd also like to know which publishers opt out.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Oct 4th, 2012 @ 7:38pm

      Re: The clueless help identify themselves very visibly

      Like they did with the DMCA notices? Sounds like a plan ;)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2012 @ 11:39am

    It would be interesting to see how many vacation homes and other "frivolities" were bought by the AAP's lawyers during those seven years...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 2:13am

    a few things as usual you failed to mention, it's not "the exact same deal" as offered 7 years ago.. if that was the case we would have the EXACT same internet and technology today as we had 7 years ago.. that is NOT the case (in case you had not noticed !!!)..


    You also crow on about how book that are not being printed today will provide 'the world' with a vast number of books to read ,, blah blah blah.. there is a very good reason why certain book go out of print.. and it's usually because NO ONE IS READING THEM !!!.. that's right for some reason people believe thay are crap.. . these books ARE STILL GOING TO BE CRAP in digital form as their printed form....

    so great, we get access to a vast number of book that no one wants to read in the first place... nice work.. !!!!

     

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      anon, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

      Re:

      You seem to be saying that because a book is out of print it is rubbish.... well done then , you officially have my nomination for fool of the day.

       

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