By RACHEL JANOSEC
Google has been working with publishers and authors for seven years trying to come to a settlement regarding if the publishers partnering with Google should be allowed to digitize their books and journals or not. After several years of litigation, the two finally came to an agreement this week and decided to allow publishes to choose whether Google will digitize their books online.
Google had planned to digitize every book to make them readable and searchable online for everyone. They were planning to create a Google Library project where this would be possible. But they were faced with a much bigger issue before completing this project; they had to get the rights from the book authors.
The settlement made a few days ago put Google a step closer to its library project, but it still has to get the final say in the end from the publishers.
This settlement between Google and its partnering publishers is the newest marker for defining copyright for the Internet in today’s world. It also shows how prominent the shift from printed books to e-books is and shows Google’s constant struggle to compete with its biggest e-book rival, Amazon.
Through this deal with Google, publishers are now allowed to choose whether or not Google will digitize its out-of-print books that are currently under copyright protection. Google then provides authors with their own digital copies of the works if they do decide to digitize it. This makes it easy for authors to sell their books on their own websites or elsewhere.
In the end, this agreement helps Google because it can expand its e-book library that it sell to customers. And it also helps users and publishers because they are able to find books that were out of print for such a long time that are not protected by copyright any longer.