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Google settles epic US book-scanning battle with 5 publishers

Digitised deal agreed with big name book-pushers

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Google has settled a seven-year-long dispute with publishers in the United States, bringing to an end a copyright infringement lawsuit first filed against the company in October 2005.

Under the deal, the rights of the copyright-holders have been acknowledged by the search and ad giant.

Five members of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) involved in the litigation and other US publishers will now be able to either yank works belonging to them that have been digitised by Google or else agree to allow those books and journals to be made available via the firm's Library Project.

Mountain View explained: "Those deciding not to remove their works will have the option to receive a digital copy for their use."

It added that Stateside, publishers could additionally ink individual deals with Google for use of their other digitally scanned works.

AAP's boss Tom Allen said he was satisfied by the outcome and added some puffery to the proceedings: "It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright-holders."

Financial terms of the agreements with Penguin Group USA, McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Simon & Schuster and John Wiley & Sons were kept secret.

The company added that the "settlement does not affect Google’s current litigation with the Authors Guild or otherwise address the underlying questions in that suit."

The Authors Guild began suing Google in September 2005 over its plans to make scans of millions of books available online. ®

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