MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google and U.S. publishers have settled a longstanding dispute over Google's book-scanning project. A lawsuit filed by authors remains, though, leaving the project in question.
The Association of American Publishers and Google Inc. announced their settlement on Thursday to end a lawsuit filed by five publishers in October 2005.
Google already has scanned more than 20 million books. Publishers and authors sued, saying the project violated their copyrights. Authors' and publishers' groups had settled with Google before, but a federal judge tossed the deal following objections. One point of contention was the fact that books were included unless Google was informed that an author or publisher objected.
Google and the publishers say the new settlement won't require court approval because it involves only parties to the litigation. Publishers will get to choose which books are included.
"We are pleased that this settlement addresses the issues that led to the litigation," said Tom Allen, president and CEO of the publishers group. "It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright-holders."
Michael J. Boni, a lawyer for The Authors Guild, said he was "cautiously optimistic" about the prospects to make progress in the rest of the case now that the publishers have settled.
"We're delighted that Google and the publishers forged an agreement," Boni said. "We see that as a sign of Google's willingness (to be open) to the concept of settlement. And we hope we can get to the bargaining table as soon as we can.
Boni said authors and publishers have been working separately with Google after the court rejected the first settlement.
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan in March 2011 rejected a $125 million settlement between Google and authors and publishers after hundreds of objections to the deal were made by Google rivals, consumer watchdogs, academic experts, literary agents and even foreign governments.
The judge criticized the access Google would have to so-called orphan works — out-of-print books whose writers could not be located — saying the deal gave the company "a de facto monopoly over unclaimed works."
The Department of Justice had highlighted the issue in 2009 when it concluded that the agreement probably violated antitrust law and could decrease competition among U.S. publishers and drive up prices for consumers.
The court case was brought after Google in 2004 announced it had agreed with several major research libraries to digitally copy books and other writings in their collections. The authors and publishers sought financial damages and a court order to block the copying when they sued Google in 2005 after Google failed to obtain copyright permission to scan the books.
A deal was first reached to settle the claims in 2008 and was tentatively approved by the judge in November 2009.
AP writer Larry Neumeister in New York contributed to this story.
Earlier on HuffPost:
The now-ubiquitous Gmail -- Google's email product -- was unlike any previous email service when it was introduced <a href="http://googlepress.blogspot.com/2004/04/google-gets-message-launches-gmail.html" target="_hplink">in 2004</a>. It featured way more storage space (1 GB per user), search capability within your email, and conversion view, which groups together all replies to the original message to keep the conversation in a single thread. It also included a built-in chat service.
Google Mars (2006)
Google worked with NASA researchers to create a detailed, digital map of the planet Mars. <a href="http://www.google.com/mars/" target="_hplink">Google Mars</a> works similarly to Google Earth -- except you're navigating around a far-off planet. Users can explore regions, mountains, plains, canyons, craters and other elements.
Google Sky (2007)
<a href="http://www.google.com/sky/" target="_hplink">Google Sky,</a> the outer space version of Google Earth, is a way to explore the sky from your computer or mobile device. Click the Sky button on the Google Earth toolbar and you can see constellations, the moon, the planets, and user guides giving information on each. And, of course, there's a search bar to locate whatever part of the sky you're looking for. If you're unfamiliar, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX9MeF2Au9c&feature=player_embedded#!" target="_hplink">this YouTube video</a> gives a good guide.
Google Reader (2007)
<a href="www.google.com/reader" target="_hplink">Google Reader</a> is a web-based news aggregator. It utilizes RSS feeds and included sharing capability until October, 2011, when this feature was <a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/10/how-survive-switch-google-reader-google/44069/" target="_hplink">disabled and replaced</a> with a Google+ button.
Google Moderator (2008)
<a href="https://www.google.com/moderator/" target="_hplink">Google Moderator</a> ranks user-submitted questions that come in during an online discussion. It was first created to help moderate the company's tech talks, and was later used by President Barack Obama's team to sift through Americans' questions for the newly elected president. It works like this: Participants can submit questions or ideas, and other participants vote on them. This crowdsourcing technique helps identify the questions and ideas with the most support or interest from the group.
Google Body (2010)
Google Body allowed users to navigate through 3D anatomical models of the human body. Google Body ceased operation in Oct. 2011 -- when Google Labs shut down -- and will relaunch as Zygote Body. <a href="http://www.zygotebody.com/" target="_hplink">Zygote Body</a> will be a searchable, interactive 3D model of human anatomy. Check out this video for a look at the former Google Body.
Google Docs (2010)
<a href="docs.google.com" target="_hplink">Google Docs,</a> a web-based office suite that includes word documents, spreadsheets and other formats, was innovative for a few reasons. One, the documents are accessible from any computer or device. Two, they're collaborative: You can share documents with coworkers or friends and read or edit them simultaneously. The docs also automatically save as you go, protecting the work from browser crashes or other accidents. Google Docs is a combination of two previous company projects: Google Spreadsheets and a web-based processor, Writely. There have been several iterations in the past five years, with the mostly completed version announced in 2010.
Google Goggles (2011)
<a href="http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles/#text" target="_hplink">Google Goggles</a> is on the cutting-edge of visual search. The product enables users to search with images instead of words -- basically you take a picture of something, and Google will recognize it and pull up search results on it. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/07/google-goggles-search-by-_n_382871.html" target="_hplink">See a demonstration here</a>.
Google X (2011)
A November <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/technology/at-google-x-a-top-secret-lab-dreaming-up-the-future.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all" target="_hplink"> <em>New York Times</em> piece</a> gave a glimpse into Google's super-secret "Google X" lab, where the company is dreaming up innovative ideas for the future, like elevator that goes to outer space, driverless cars, and all manner of robots. In January 2012, Google announced an experimental lecture forum called "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/06/google-unveils-solve-for-_n_1258870.html" target="_hplink">Solve For X</a>," with an aim at solving "moonshot thinking." As Google <a href="http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/whats-your-x-amplifying-technology.html" target="_hplink">explained in a blog post</a>, the project will "take on global-scale problems, define radical solutions to those problems, and involve some form of breakthrough technology that could actually make them happen."