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.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags copyrightinternetGooglelegalsearch enginesintellectual property

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

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?