BBC News reports that Google has reached an agreement with the Author’s Guild and Association of American publishers to ensure proper compensation of copyrighted books (HT: Blogoscoped):

Google will establish a non-profit Book Rights Registry to ensure copyrighted works receive compensation via subscription services or ad revenue.

The registry and settlements will cost Google $125m (£80m).

However, the deal still needs approval from a US district court to resolve the pending lawsuits.

If approved, the agreement will provide much wider access to out-of-print books and a great many in-print, in-copyright works.

Now this is the really interesting part of the deal:

The scheme will also set up subscription services for institutions such as universities to have full access to the online collections of libraries worldwide, with free access provided at US public and university libraries.