Google Settlement Ruling

More information on the Google Library Partnership.

Settlement agreement between Google and plaintiffs the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers.

Statements on Ruling

University of Michigan Statement March 22, 2011

We are disappointed that the judge has ruled against the proposed settlement because so much work in digital form will continue to be unavailable to our campus and to the broader world in digital form.

The settlement, had it been approved, would have not just opened up the vast collections of the world’s greatest libraries to library users everywhere, but enabled the broadest provision of services ever conceived to users with print disabilities.

Importantly, however, Google continues to scan books from our libraries and we continue to use the scanned works for preservation, indexing and search, as well as for linguistic research and to meet the needs of those with print disabilities. U-M also is a member of the HathiTrust Digital Library, which has issued its own statement on the judge’s ruling.

It’s too soon to tell what comes next, but the U-M remains committed to using the scans to the maximum extent lawfully and technically possible and we look forward to working with various parties to find reasonable terms under which everyone will have access to the contents of our library.

HathiTurst Statement March 22, 2011

Libraries are not leaving the future of digital books to Google. Notwithstanding Judge Denny Chin’s rejection of the “Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement, Authors Guild et al. v. Google,” HathiTrust will maintain our commitment to long-term digital preservation of library collections curated by generations of librarians at great research libraries around the world. Our stated mission: “to contribute to the public good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge.”

HathiTrust’s ability to fulfill our mission is and has been independent of approval of the Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement. The benefits we envision – improved discovery and full-text search of our vast collections, services for users with print disabilities, computational research, and broad public availability of works that are out of copyright or otherwise released by their copyright owners – are being realized and will continue to expand.

The HathiTrust partners will continue providing comprehensive full-text search of the repository and uses of in-copyright materials that fall under sections 107 and 108 of U.S. copyright law: access for users with print disabilities, and lawful uses of digital copies of materials that are damaged, deteriorating, lost or stolen, and not available at a reasonable market price.

In addition, we will continue to pursue our extensive review of works published in the United States from 1923 to 1963, providing access to works that did not comply with copyright formalities of the time, and our work with authors and publishers who wish to open access to their works in HathiTrust. We will continue to strive to provide as much access as legally possible to materials in the repository for discovery, reading, and computational research. We hope that the rejection of the settlement will lead immediately to meaningful progress towards orphan works legislation.

HathiTrust ( is an international partnership of 52 academic and research libraries based at the University of Michigan. The digital repository launched by the partners in 2008 contains more than 8.4 million volumes, including nearly 2.2 million works that are in the public domain and viewable on the web.

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