We’ve been waiting over a year for the court to issue a decision regarding the Google Books settlement. We finally got one today, and, unfortunately, the judge declined to approve the settlement.
What does this mean? It is clearly disappointing that the settlement – which would have opened up access to millions of out-of-print books that today are nearly impossible to access – was not approved. We’re still reviewing the Court’s decision and will consider our options going forward.
What *doesn’t* this mean? It doesn’t change our continuing commitment to opening up access to books in partnership with authors, publishers, and libraries. As we’ve said many times in the past, opening access to books is an incredibly important effort, and one that’s much bigger than this settlement.
- We’ll continue to develop Google Books and to digitize works through our Library Project. To date, we have digitized over 15 million books that you can search across, including nearly 3 million out-of-copyright books that you can read and download for free. (The judge’s decision has no immediate impact on our existing product, as it only concerned the settlement, which would have increased access beyond this point, particularly when it comes to in-copyright, out-of-print books.)
- We’ll also keep growing Google eBooks and our Partner Program for publishers. More than 35,000 partners have joined the Partner Program, including nearly every major U.S. publisher.
- And finally, we’ll continue to work with Congress to support copyright legislation that increases access to all books.
We look forward to a day when any student, teacher, librarian or book lover will have access to the great collections of our world’s research libraries. We hope it won’t be much longer, and we look forward to continuing to work with you on this important effort. We’ll be in touch as we consider our options, and we appreciate your continuing support.