Google and a group of book publishers have settled a seven-year-old dispute that would allow the search giant to continue in its quest to digitize all the world's books.
This is only a step in that direction because Google still has an outstanding lawsuit with authors.
"The deal allows publishers to choose whether to allow Google to digitize their out-of-print books that are still under copyright protection. If Google does so, Google will also provide them with a digital copy for their own use.
"For books that it has digitized, Google allows people to read 20 percent of them online and purchase the entire books from the Google Play store. The two parties did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.
"But the bigger case, between Google and the Authors Guild, remains tied up in court. An agreement between those two parties would determine whether Google could move forward with its broader, more ambitious digitizing plan."
Ars Technica reports that the group of publishers, which includes McGraw-Hill, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, said the settlement "shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright-holders."