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Google, publishers shelve book-scanning suit

October 5, 2012 • Entertainment


FILE-In this March 21, 2008, file photo, Courtney Mitchel looks over a page scan of a rare, centuries-old Bible in Ann Arbor, Mich. Google and U.S. publishers settled a longstanding dispute over Google’s book-scanning project Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. Google already has scanned more than 20 million books. Publishers and authors sued, saying the project violated their copyrights. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google and major book publishers have settled a lengthy legal battle over digital copyrights, but a bigger dispute still looms with thousands of authors who allege that Google is illegally profiting from their works.

The truce announced Thursday ends a federal lawsuit filed in 2005 by several members of the Association of American Publishers after Google Inc. began stockpiling its Internet search index with digital duplicates of books scanned from libraries.

Google has maintained that its scanning is covered by fair-use provisions of copyright law, although it offered to remove specific books from its index upon request. It also showed only snippets of the copyrighted books unless permission was given to show more.

Publishers and authors, however, insisted that Google needed explicit permission from them before making the digital copies, let alone showing even snippets of text from the books on Google’s website.

Google worked out a $125 million settlement with publishers and authors in 2008, only to have a federal judge in New York reject it after the U.S. Justice Department and other critics contended that it would thwart competition in the rapidly growing digital book Login to read more

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