After three years of legal battles, Google says it has finally settled a dispute with U.S. publishers and authors over its book-scanning project.
The project has been under a cloud since 2005, when the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild filed class-action lawsuits against the company, alleging that scanning books was copyright infringement.
The company provided readers with only small snippets from each book, and promised to remove books on request, but authors and publishers said this reverse-onus approach was unfair.
As part of the settlement, Google is paying $125-million (U.S.) to pay legal costs, and will also set up a new entity called the Book Rights Registry. This agency will be responsible for distributing payments that come from charging for online access to books provided through Google.
The registry will also be responsible for locating rights-holders for books and providing a way for them to "request inclusion in or exclusion from the project."
Google says the deal will make it easier for authors and publishers to monetize out-of-print books.
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