If you hold the copyright to any published book, regardless of where it was published, the Google Book Settlement affects how your work may be distributed in the United States.  It has particularly strong implications for out-of-print books.

This information is provided for reference only.  The University does not take responsibility for its quality, accuracy, or completeness.  This information does not constitute legal advice nor does it recommend a specific decision by an author in response to the Google Books Settlement.  It is each individual’s responsibility to research its applicability to them.

To find out more about your rights and choices, and important dates by which you must make choices about your rights, you may wish to visit these websites:

•     Settlement Administrator:  Google Books Settlement FAQ
•     Access Copyright:  Why the Google Settlement Matters to You
•      Michael Geist, Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa, provides access to alternative points of view:  Michael Geist Blog
•     The Writers’ Union of Canada:  TWUC Advises Members Not to Opt Out of Google Settlement
•      The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), of which UBC Libraries is a member, has prepared Information for Faculty and Scholars
•     Jonathan Band prepared A Guide for the Perplexed: Libraries and the Google Library Project for ARL and the American Library Association

Some upcoming key dates:
•    September 4, 2009 (extended from the original date of May 5, 2009).
Any rights holder who wishes to opt out of the settlement, or file an an objection to the settlement,  must do so by September 4, 2009.
•    October 7, 2009 (rescheduled from the original date of June 11, 2009).
The US District Court in New York will hold a final Fairness Hearing to determine whether the settlement is fair, adequate, and responsible. Following the hearing, the court will decide whether to approve the settlement.

These dates were extended from the original dates by order of the Federal District Court in New York on April 28, 2009.

Because the proposed Google Books Settlement arose from a United States class action lawsuit, it does not, at present, directly apply to the distribution of books online beyond the United States. However, it is expected that it will have far-reaching implications.  Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

If you require additional information, please contact the Google Settlement Administrator, toll free at 1.888.356.0248, or Sandra Wilkins, Law Librarian at UBC.

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