Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers have reached a groundbreaking settlement that will create a far-reaching educational, cultural, and commercial platform to expand access to millions of books in the U.S.
Most of the world's knowledge is contained in physical books. Google has joined with library partners to scan and index 10 million books, enabling a vast corpus of knowledge to be searchable. With court approval, the settlement will unlock that knowledge even further, making out-of-print books available online for anyone to preview, purchase, and read.
Students & the Reading Public:
Millions of books available to students and readers in every part of the U.S.
The vast majority of books in existence today are in-copyright, but out-of-print. They are not sold through most bookstores and typically are found only in a limited number of libraries around the country. The settlement opens up millions of these books to students and readers across the U.S. This enables anyone, in the most rural or remote areas of the country, to benefit from the world of knowledge contained in our nation's most renowned libraries. Millions of in-copyright, out-of-print books will be made available for readers in the U.S. to search, preview, and buy online.
Institutional subscription and free access for public and university libraries.
Libraries & Academic Institutions:
Google will provide institutional subscriptions that enable colleges, universities, and other organizations in the U.S. to dramatically expand their collections. Millions of out-of-print books will be available for complete full-text online access. The subscription will be priced for “broad access,” allowing institutions across the country to take advantage of it. In addition, Google will offer public libraries free access at one computer in each of their facilities.
Unprecedented access to the written literary record for people who are visually impaired.
The agreement will instantly increase the number of written works accessible to the visually impaired by many millions of books. Google is committed to extending all the services available under the agreement to the visually impaired and print disability community, making it easier for them to access these books through screen enlargement, reader, and Braille display technologies.
New ways for authors and publishers to sell access to their books.
Authors & Publishers:
Out-of-print books are difficult for readers to find and buy. The settlement opens new revenue opportunities for authors and publishers, including advertising. When a reader purchases access through either Google Books or an institutional subscription, the majority of the revenue will go to rightsholders. Rightsholders also maintain control of how their works are used.
Scholars & Researchers:
Creation of research corpus to further robust analytical research.
Google will provide a $5 million donation to create research centers that will enable sophisticated analysis and non-consumptive research across the large body of material.
Creation of an independent, not-for-profit Book Rights Registry run by authors and publishers.
A non-exclusive, non-profit Book Rights Registry, managed by authors and publishers, will be established to locate and represent rightsholders. The Registry will collect and distribute money earned as part of the settlement. By enhancing rightsholders' ability to efficiently license their works, the Registry can facilitate the development of other similar initiatives or new distribution models. The Registry will also help reduce "orphan" works problems by creating a financial incentive for rightsholders to come forward and by actively locating rightsholders.