Google scores another book-scanning win in deal with Japanese writer group

The influential Japan PEN club has agreed not to take legal action in copyright disputes with the Google Library Project

Google has signed a legal peace treaty with a major Japanese writers' group over the company's book-scanning project, the latest in a string of global settlements around its efforts to digitize the world's books.

The company announced a joint agreement with the Japan P.E.N. Club, an influential domestic association of writers. The two sides said in statements posted online Monday that they have agreed to collaborate around Google's Library Project.

Google has scored several major agreements around its book digitization efforts in recent months. In October, it reached a settlement with the Association of American Publishers in the U.S., ending seven years of litigation, and in June it struck a deal to end legal tangling with two French organizations.

Crucially, the latest Japanese agreement includes a promise to avoid legal action on the scanning project. This is a reversal for Japan P.E.N, which had in the past expressed major reservations about the project and called it a clear violation of Japanese copyright laws.

"The Japan P.E.N. Club and Google have agreed not to use legal means to battle in the future, and if doubts arise over this agreement among P.E.N members in the future, the club will work to gain the understanding of those members," the group wrote in a statement posted online.

The group was apparently persuaded by promises from Google to quickly respond to requests by authors and publishers to exclude scanned works from search results, including works that have yet to be scanned.

The two sides said they have also agreed to work together on future translations of modern Japanese literature and to help make the genre more accessible. Japan P.E.N currently maintains a small, freely accessible digital archive of its own, with works in both Japanese and English.

The Japan P.E.N. club is the Japanese branch of PEN International, a global association based in London that fights for writers' rights. The P.E.N stands for poets and playwrights, essayists and editors, and novelists. The Japanese branch has often been led by influential and respected writers.

Google's Library Project is an ongoing effort by the company to scan in books around the world and add them to its massive database for search results. The company says it is focused on out-of-print books and other works that are normally hard to locate.

The project contrasts with online projects like Project Gutenberg, which aims to mainly recreate and offer online accurate versions of books that are currently in the public domain.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Topics: Google, copyright, intellectual property, legal, internet, search engines
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?