Publishers Weekly reports Google has settled with a coalition of authors and publishers in the United States and will begin paying to licence access to the copyrighted works it includes in its “Index to Everything” essentially, a project to scan the text of every book in the world and make it searchable.
Authors and publishers received a lot of abuse as luddites and enemies of progress from IP scholars and freecopiers on this issue. But this is the solution that was always available. These rights were always available for licensing once Google was amenable to recognizing the value in the rights they wanted access to. It was never a problem about access, just a problem of unwillingness to pay. And since Google’s capital reserves are immense and the earnings potential of its indexing project equally large, that was not really a problem either.
Some background to the story is available here , if you read far enough.