Copyright & Art Issues
Revised & Updated:
August 12, 2011

Google Book Search Action & Settlement History

"Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search and Google Print) is a service from Google that searches the full text of books that Google has scanned, converted to text using optical character recognition, and stored in its digital database. The service was formerly known as Google Print when it was introduced at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2004. Google's Library Project, also now known as Google Book Search, was announced in December 2004.


The publishing industry and writers' groups have criticized the project's inclusion of snippets of copyrighted works as infringement. In late 2005 the Authors Guild of America and Association of American Publishers separately sued Google, citing "massive copyright infringement." Google countered that its project represented a fair use and is the digital age equivalent of a card catalog with every word in the publication indexed. Despite Google taking measures to provide full text of only works in public domain, and providing only a searchable summary online for books still under copyright protection, publishers maintain that Google has no right to copy full text of books with copyrights and save them, in large amounts, into its own database." [Source: Wikipedia (accessed April 5, 2011)]

September 20, 2005 - Authors Guild, Inc. et al. v. Google, Inc. (class action complaint, case 05 CV 8136-DC)

October 28, 2008 - Original Settlement Agreement and Responses

November 13, 2009 - Amended Settlement Agreement, with full exhibits

March 22, 2011 - New York Federal Judge Denny Chin's Opinion Rejecting Settlement


Discussions and Commentary

Collection at The Public Index

Collection at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

"Federal Judge Rejects Google Book Settlement," College Art Association - CAA News (April 5, 2011)



Note to readers: Over time, a number of urls cited on this page have been changed, removed, or lost. I have tried to find the original materials mentioned in the link, often resorting to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
The first edition of this site appeared on March 22, 1996