A Google lawyer told reporters at the Google Washington offices today that the company expects the settlement to be approved. Here's a Reuters' report on the inquiry.
Update 8:30 PM ET: Google Also Cooperating with "Several State Attorneys General"
Here is a statement from Google spokesperson Gabriel Stricker:
"The Department of Justice and several state attorneys general have contacted us to learn more about the impact of the settlement, and we are happy to answer their questions. It’s important to note that this agreement is non-exclusive and if approved by the court, stands to expand access to millions of books in the U.S.”
For an explanation of the book settlement and how it works, we spoke with Sticker at Google headquarters in Mountain View last month. We have republished the interview today.
Update: 9:30 PM ET: Here is the Wall Street Journal's story on today's developments.
Andy Plesser, Executive Producer
Gabriel Stricker: At Google we have this program, this product called Book Search and we have scanned and indexed over seven million books because sometimes the answers people are looking for can be found inside of those pages. So the product exists today and it's very popular and people love it. There are some books that are in the public domain which you can read and access the entire book. They're out of copyright and so those books you can actually download a PDF copy for your own and do what you want to do with it and print it out and read it and so on.
They're some books that are in print, obviously in copyright, and those books, so if you do a searche in Book Search for Freakonomics, you'd find that as an example right where you'll see just a portion of the book but what the publisher has instructed us to show. For the books that are in copyright but out of print, which is really the crux of the settlement agreement between us and the Authors Guild and AAP, for those books we only show a snippet view because again that's really what law allows under fair use.
And we came to an agreement with AAP and the Authors Guild to allow us, pending the approval of the court, to allow us to show more than just the snippet view, which we think will be really beneficial to users to allow them to access more and more of the book. And again, pending approval from the court, the idea is also to create a new revenue stream because if you're…if you have a case where you have a book that's out of print, that author has limited ability to make money off of that book. And the idea behind this, pending approval is to create a new source of revenue where we would actually be able to sell access to those books that are out of print, but yet in copyright. And so that's kind of what's to come. The reality is that we have a legal process that we have to abide by right now and so it's the part of the agreement that will be enabled once it's approved by the courts is not yet visible for users, but we're hoping that that will continue to progress on and that is the ultimate promise of it. And actually the ultimate promise of Book Search is to make all the world's books, not just the ones we've scanned, but as the program continues on and continues on that someday all the world's books be accessible to users.