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Google Book Search to put millions of titles online

Search giant agrees deal with Authors Guild

Google has struck a deal with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers to make millions of books available online.

The agreement comes two years after a number of companies filed lawsuits against Google's Book Search tool, which would have seen copyrighted books digitised and made available in online searches. The search engine also planned to share these digital copies with libraries without gaining permission.

Under the deal, which still has to be approved the US District Court in New York, copyrighted materials and other written materials will still be made available online in the US through Google Book Search, but web users will have to purchase the lifetime rights to read and print scanned books searched through Google.

In return, copyright holders will be given the ability to control pricing and access to books online. Google is also stumping up $125m (£80m) to create a Books Rights Registry, which will enable copyright holders to register their works and in return receive payment for the works that have already been digitised as well as receiving subscriptions from any of the 160,000 US libraries that have paid to access Google Book Search.

"It is hard work writing a book and even harder work getting paid for it," said Roy Blount Jr, the president of the Authors Guild. "As an author, well, we appreciate payment when people use our work. This makes good sense."


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