The University of Michigan Press and The Google Settlement

by kris bishop on September 15, 2009

A Letter from Press Director Phil Pochoda
Michigan Digital Transition


GoogleBooks_1 “As you have heard, a class action lawsuit was brought by authors and publishers against Google for digitizing millions of books without permission of their copyright holders and publishers. The terms of the Google Settlement will be reviewed in a Fairness Hearing by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on October 7, 2009. At this time any comments and objections received by the Court to the terms of the Settlement will be considered, and the Settlement will be approved, amended, or disapproved.

University of Michigan Press has decided to opt in to the terms of the Settlement and is beginning the process of claiming books digitized by Google under its Book Search program. We will claim all titles under copyright on behalf of our authors.

Books published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, but most books published by the Press are still protected by copyright. Some books under copyright may have been out of print in prior years, but we have been putting these into commercial offerings again recently (e.g., digital products). By doing this, we will ensure the copyright for these titles are clearly known to be held by us and by you as rightsholder.

Please note that if you hold copyright or if the Press released publication rights back to you, you are solely responsible for claiming them with Google. If copyrighted titles did not revert to you, even if out of print, we will claim these on behalf of authors and the Press as publisher.

The Settlement terms will govern future revenue-generating plans for books in the Google repository, but claims for the books whether by us, you, or both will yield one-time payments of not less than $60/book. This payment is solely the authors’ where rights have reverted, and will be shared via contracted royalty terms following payment by Google otherwise. Please come to our website for regular updates, and please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.”

-Phil Pochoda

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