Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Google Book will be up and running again after $125 million settlement

Last October, Google ended up paying a $125 million settlement to the Authors Guild for copyrighted works it had scanned onto its Google Book Search project. The Project seemed like a very great idea, scan every book ever printed so that anyone could view them on the web. Google had scanned over 7 million books before the Author’s Guild said what they were doing was illegal.

Since then the Google has revised their technique and are now offering authors and other copyright holders $60 per scanned book to allow Google to scan their book and add it to their Google Book Search collection. The deal sounds like a terrible one, but there is more to it. Google is only allowed to display snippets in search results, and only 20% of the book will be viewable in preview mode. If a user wants to see the entire book, the user will have the option to buy a digital version of the book. Google has also set up and advertising program on the Google book search results and preview mode. Authors and copyright holders will then receive 63% of all profit that Google has earned on advertising and e-books sold that pertain to the author’s book.

Also worth noting is the settlement is only for the million of out-of-print books that are currently making zero revenues for authors and publishers today. Sounds like a good deal for an author who wants to make some more money off of their book after it has stopped being published and produced.

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