What Does the Google Book Search Settlement Mean for the Industry?
According to Schroeder, the mission now for the AAP is to help interpret the settlement, especially the ins and outs of the registry, for its 260 publishing members.
"It's a confusing document," she says of the agreement. "Publishers want to know how this will affect them. It's one of the most complex agreements you could think of."
Schroeder adds that she believes the deal is also an advantage for both readers and scholars.
Google Book Search will allow users to search full text of copyrighted books—both in-print and out-of-print titles. Users also will have the ability to pay a per-page fee to print or purchase a digital or hard copy of a book. Schools and libraries will have the ability to purchase access to a subscription service.
"This is a key business model that will create cash flow," says Schroeder.
Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, told Book Business Extra that the negotiations with the AAP was one of the closest working relationships between publishers and authors. "This is very much a business model for all sides that makes sense," he says. "The big deal is having a licensed solution going forward."
According to Aiken, licensing could have potentially created a cloudy rights situation. "The settlement gives us a way to cut through this," he says.
Under the new deal, if rights have not reversed to the author, publishers and authors will split revenue 50/50 for books post-1987 used with Google Book Search. Pre-1987 books will have a 65/35 split in favor of the author.
Representatives at Google could not be reached for comment for this story.
- Association of American Publishers