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Yale University Press and the Google Settlement

Yale University Press and the Google Settlement

The original deadlines provided by the Google Settlement have been extended as follows: the opt-out deadline has been delayed until September 4, 2009, and the fairness hearing has been delayed until October 7, 2009.

The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an inquiry into the Settlement, which may have an impact on the court’s review and approval of the proposed settlement agreement.

In recent weeks, arguments for and against the Settlement have heated up from groups representing both rightsholders and content users.


The terms of the recent Settlement arrived at by the parties in the class action lawsuits, brought against Google for digitizing hundreds of thousands of books without permission of their copyright owners and publishers, will be reviewed in a Fairness Hearing by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on June 11, 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.

Yale University Press has made the decision that it will opt in to the terms of the Settlement which are pending approval by the Court, and is currently taking steps to comply with those terms. This means that Yale University Press staff is working through the documents posted on the Settlement website (http://www.googlebooksettlement.com) to claim on behalf of our authors and the Press all books which are still under copyright and for which rights have not reverted to the authors.

Rights to books published prior to 1923 are in the public domain and no action need be taken concerning them; some few books published since 1923 have also moved into the public domain as well, but most books published by the Press are still protected by copyright, and thus will be subject to the Settlement terms. Some books which are under copyright but were out of print with Yale have been put back in print and made commercially available in the past few years, and we have been working to make many more available in the near future.

If you know or believe that your book or books are still in copyright, you may go to the Settlement website indicated above, search for your titles, and claim your book(s).

If the publication rights were reverted to you by Yale, you are solely responsible for claiming them with Google.

If Yale still holds publication rights and has not reverted them to you, Yale will make a claim for these book(s), so that if you are unable to make the claim, be assured that it will be made on your behalf.

The terms of the Settlement will govern how and what decisions can be made regarding the various revenue-generating plans for the books under Google’s aegis, and many of those plans have not yet been determined. Pending decisions concerning those plans, making claims for the books, whether by the publisher, the author, or both, will yield payments of not less than $60 per book. These payments will belong to the authors alone where rights have reverted. The payments will be shared between the author and the Press according to the terms of our publishing agreement in the case where rights remain with the Press, and will be paid in the royalty period following receipt of the payment by Yale.

Please check this site for updated information, which will appear as often as necessary to keep our authors informed.