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A fuss over the internet search firm’s effort to build a huge digital library

September 5, 2009

Several years ago Google began working with research libraries in America to create digital copies of their collections, parts of which it made available online. Not long after, a group of authors and publishers sued the company for breach of copyright. Now Google and its former antagonists are seeking judicial approval for a deal they reached last year to settle the class-action suit. Among other things, this would allow the company to scan millions of out-of-print books, including orphan works, without seeking permission from individual copyright holders. Google could then sell individual works or access to its entire library, provided it paid a share of the proceeds to owners of the copyrights, if they can be found. (It has already set aside $125m to that end.) Publishers and authors had until September 4th to withdraw from the agreement; those remaining in it can ask Google to remove their titles from its library at any time. Next month a federal court is due to hold a hearing on the agreement, which will help shape the future of the digital publishing.

For full article from Economist

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