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Monday, 13th October 2008

Settlement Near in Google Book Search Lawsuit?

Settlement Near in Google Book Search Lawsuit?

Rumors are swirling again that the long-running lawsuit between publishers and Google over its book-scanning program is on the verge of a settlement. According to a report in Library Journal, anonymous sources have let slip “that talk of a final agreement has indeed heated up, with one publishing insider confirming that a settlement was ‘imminent.’”

Google has been scanning millions of books through its Google Book Search program. The suit was brought in October 2005 by five publishers—McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, the Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster, and John Wiley & Sons, all members of the Association of American Publishers. They seek an injunction against Google on the grounds that scanning a copyrighted work without permission goes far beyond the bounds of fair use.

Both sides dismissed the current whispers. A publishers’ association spokesperson suggested that “the rumor mill was starting its annual run-up to the Frankfurt Book Fair, which begins October 15,” Library Journal reported. A Google representative “also referenced previous rumors about a settlement, and declined comment,” saying the case is still in discovery.

But the story also noted the pressure on both sides to reach some kind of deal to avoid “what is setting up to be a messy trial.”

Source: Wired Campus (Chronicle of Higher Education)


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