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UPDATE: Google, Book Publishers Reach Settlement
By David B. Wilkerson
CHICAGO (Dow Jones) -- Google Inc. and five major book publishers have reached an agreement that will allow the search-engine titan to make millions of in- copyright books and other written materials available online.
The publishers -- Simon & Schuster (CBS), McGraw-Hill Cos. (MHP), Pearson Education Inc. and Penguin Group (PSO) and John Wiley & Sons Inc. (JWA)(JWB) -- had sued Google in 2005 to stop the company from scanning millions of library books. They contended that Google (GOOG) was violating copyright law.
Under the settlement, Google will make payments totaling $125 million. The money will be used to resolve existing claims by authors and publishers and to cover legal fees.
The funds will also go toward the establishment of an independent, not-for- profit entity called the Book Rights Registry, which will locate rights-holders, collect and maintain accurate information about them, and allow them to participate or opt out of Google's scanning project.
The settlement, which is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, will allow U.S. readers to search through millions of written works and preview them online.
It will also greatly expand the electronic market for copyrighted books and provide greater library access to the entire texts of books that had not been previously available online.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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