Google has been a major boon to researchers, with their efforts to
scan and index just about everything
, but they haven’t exactly endeared themselves to copyright holders, a state of affairs which had cumulated in a
against the search giant by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. Today, Google
that they’ve reached an agreement that will allow them to continue their book digitization project with the cooperation of the authors and publishers.
The agreement states that Google will pay a hefty $125 million , mostly to establish a Book Rights Registry. The registry will allow copyright holders to identify themselves and receive royalties.
Under the agreement, users of Google Book Search will be able to view up to 20% of any indexed book for free, a big increase from the “snippets” available before. Users can also view a book in its entirety by paying a fee, which goes to the copyright holder through the Book Rights Registry.
Also, local libraries will be able to offer free access to the entire texts of all of Google’s 7 million (and growing) scanned books.
Right now the settlement will only affect users in the U.S., though Google says they’re attempting to reach similar agreements abroad.
Do you use Google Book Search? How will these changes affect you? Let us know after the jump.