Monday, October 2, 2023

Google Violates The Copyright Laws By Making Digital Copies Of Books Available Online?

Google and AAP settlementWhere Google is breaking old relationships (ref. Apple), it’s also creating new ones. According to the latest news, Google is trying to bag the spot for becoming the world’s no 1 library. In an agreement by Google Inc and several publishers, the merge will work towards making the digital copies of books with a litigation period of seven years.

On Thursday, Google and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) announced that US publishers can opt to either remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project or make them available.

It is to note that this settlement would not concern Google’s current litigation with the Authors Guild in any manner.

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As per a statement by Paul Aiken, Executive Director, Authors Guild, he said, “Google continues to profit from its use of millions of copyright-protected books without regard to authors’ rights, and our class-action lawsuit on behalf of U.S. authors continues.”

The issue with the publishers engaged Google scanning millions of copyrighted books to make them available to users online. The publishers argue that Google violated copyright laws as it failed to ask for their permission.

In a statement by Tom Allen, President and chief executive officer, AAP, he said, “It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright-holders.”

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Various AAP members who filed the lawsuit include McGraw-Hill Companies Inc, Pearson Education Inc and its sister Penguin Group USA, John Wiley & Sons and CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster.

Around 15 million books were scanned by Google in an effort to offer easy access to the world’s knowledge. The search engine giant is carrying out scans in partnership with major libraries around the world, including the New York Public Library and Stanford University Libraries.

Users accessing Google Books can browse up to 20 percent of the books in its library and then go to Google Play to buy digital versions.

The book industry is growing as more people have started using tabs for reading including Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad.

The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers sued Google in 2005 for infringing copyright laws. The companies however, reached an earlier settlement to pay $125 million to those whose copyrighted books were scanned, and to locate and share revenue with the authors who have yet to come forward.

However, this decision was challenged by critics, who said the settlement gave Google an unfair competitive advantage. A federal court agreed, and the earlier settlement was then rejected.

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