Google Books Settlement Agreement with Authors and Publishers

Uploaded by Google on 23.06.2009

>> Hi, I'm Nathan, and I'm an engineer on the Google Books team.
I'd like to talk to you today about Google Books; how the product works, our vision for
it, and some information about the recent settlement agreement that we've reached with
authors and publishers. I first started working on Google Books because
of my interest in helping to make the contents of research libraries available anywhere in
the world, from dorm rooms to school houses that wouldn't otherwise have access to these
materials. So let's talk about how Google Books works.
When you search on Google Books, or search for books-related information on,
you're searching an index of over 10 million books that we've carefully scanned and made
searchable online. Any relevant books will appear in your search
results. And clicking on a result will take you to
the relevant page on Google Books. This means that users can search the full
text of all these books. We're all accustomed to being able to do this
with web pages, but Google Books lets you do this kind of search across millions of
books. Once in Google Books, you'll be able to see
and interact with many types of book content and information depending on whether the book
is in or out of copyright. For some books, you'll be able to read the
entire book for free. These are books that are in the public domain
and therefore no longer in copyright. You can explore, read and download the entire
length of these books. If you'd like, you can also search inside
the book and see where your term shows up. You can read a biography of Abraham Lincoln
while working on your research paper. Or download your favorite play by Shakespeare
for you and your friends to act out in a drama class.
Or simply scroll through any book of interest. Maybe you'll find something unexpected, like
a personal inscription from Mark Twain himself in 1888.
You can also access the plain-text version of any public domain book by clicking on the
"View plain text" link. This is especially useful for our visually
impaired Google users, who can now download hundreds of thousands of books in a format
that is compatible with Text-to-Speech and other types of software.
For most books that are still in copyright, users are not able to see the full book, but
we've worked with publishers and authors around the world so that they can directly give us
their books to digitize and put online. You can flip through a few preview pages of
these books, usually around 20%. You'll also see links to libraries and bookstores,
where you can borrow or buy the book. If you've ever purchased a book at a physical
bookstore, you'll understand the benefit of being able to flip through some of the books
pages in order to decided whether to buy it. Lastly, there are some books for which our
results are more like a card catalog. We call this "Snippet view."
These are books that in copyright for which we don't have a deal with the rights holder,
or they're simply of unclear copyright status. In this case, we show you information about
the book, and at most, a few snippets of text showing where your search term appears in
the book. Today, Book Search is available in 124 countries,
and readers can find books in over 100 languages. We know that it's become a great tool to for
researchers, students, scholars, doctors, librarians and book lovers everywhere.
Now I'm going to talk a bit about the settlement agreement between Google and the Author's
Guild and Association of American Publishers. As a book lover, and someone who believes
in giving more people access to more books, I can't tell you how excited I am about how
the settlement, if approved, will change the way users interact with Google Books and how
it will give people in the U.S. access to millions of books that they have not had access
to before. Three years ago, the Author's Guild and Association
of American Publishers filed a class-action lawsuit around our use of snippet view in
Google Books for books that are in copyright, but for which we don't have a deal with the
rights holder. We ultimately decided to work with authors
and publishers to settle that lawsuit, since we saw it as an opportunity to move our product
beyond snippet view, and to offer our users more than a few lines of text when their looking
for books online. Since the vast majority of these books are
out of print, to read them users would actually have to hunt them down at a library or a used
bookstore. We saw the settlement agreement as a way to
enable to far greater access to books than ever before.
Here is how. Once approved, this agreement will allow us
to make many of these out-of-print books available for preview.
Where once there were only a few lines of text, entire sample pages of the book will
be available for users to see, just like the preview books we have today.
What's more, the agreement will allow us to make these books available for reading and
purchase in the U.S., which expands the markets for publishers to sell books.
It also creates more opportunities for authors to earn money and be read.
I'm also delighted that the settlement expands access to books in a number of other ways,
including renting free, online access to designated computers in public and university libraries
in the U.S. It also allows academic institutions to purchase
full access to millions of books for their members.
Helping to expand access to the world's books was the whole reason I started working on
this project in the first place. All of us working on Google Books are thrilled
that we have come to an agreement with our author, library and publishing partners that
will help us get closer to achieving this dream.
To learn about the settlement, and the future of Google Books, please visit