"Google will be paying authors and publishers $125 million as part of a settlement agreement that resolves a suit against its Google Book Search initiative, the Authors Guild and a group of publishers announced Tuesday.
The settlement enables authors and publishers to receive compensation for online access to their works.
Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, called the settlement "the biggest book deal in U.S. publishing history."
Google is digitizing the works from many major libraries, including the New York Public Library and the libraries at Stanford and and Harvard universities, and is making those texts searchable on pages with advertisements. The Authors Guild, which represents more than 8,000 authors, sued Google in September 2005, alleging that the company's digitizing initiative amounted to "massive" copyright infringement. Five large publishers filed a separate lawsuit as representatives of the Association of American Publishers.
Under the terms of the settlement, Google has agreed to pay the authors and publishers $125 million. It will also be responsible for selling access to copyrighted works in its repository. Most of the revenues from such access would go to the authors and publishers."