Publishers Remain Committed to Expanding Online Access to Books And Upholding Copyright Despite Court Decision

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Speaking on behalf of the publisher plaintiffs (The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; Pearson Education, Inc; Penguin Group (USA) Inc.; Simon & Schuster, Inc.; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Association of American Publishers, Inc.; Harlequin Enterprises Limited; Macmillan Publishers Limited; Melbourne University Publishing Limited; The Text Publishing Company), John Sargent, Chief Executive Officer, Macmillan, issued the statement below.

It references the Judge’s decision which noted: “…The motion for final approval of the ASA is denied, without prejudice to renewal in the event the parties negotiate a revised settlement agreement.”

“While the March 22 decision of U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin on the Google Book Settlement Agreement that was filed on November 13, 2009 is not the final approval we were hoping for, it provides clear guidance to all parties as to what modifications are necessary for its approval. The publisher plaintiffs are prepared to enter into a narrower Settlement along those lines to take advantage of its groundbreaking opportunities. We hope the other parties will do so as well.”

The Settlement has the potential to unlock online access to millions of out-of-print books in the U.S. and expand it for titles in-print while acknowledging and compensating the rights and interests of authors and copyright owners and enhancing our ability to distribute our content online.

Sargent noted publishers’ commitment to providing content in digital form is not tied to the Settlement.

“For more than a decade, publishers have been making substantial investments to enable and enhance online access to content in accordance with copyright laws and we will continue to do so regardless of the outcome of the litigation. We believe that the provisions of the Settlement would give these efforts a tremendous boost and would open a world of opportunities for readers, researchers, authors, libraries and publishers for decades to come.

“For that reason, publishers are prepared to modify the Settlement Agreement to gain approval. We plan to work together with Google, the Authors Guild and others to overcome the objections raised by the Court and promote the fundamental principle behind our lawsuit, that copyrighted content cannot be used without the permission of the owner, or outside the law.”