“We are extremely pleased to have reached a settlement with Google,” a spokeswoman for the U.S. Copyright Office said Thursday.
“We have been working diligently to make sure that our holiday images are fair use under U.N. copyright law.
We believe that Google is acting in the best interests of copyright holders.”
Copyright law states that copyright holders must have an exclusive right to reproduce and distribute copyrighted works.
But that doesn’t apply to “a reasonable facsimile of the copyrighted work” or if a copyright holder uses the same image to reproduce copyrighted material in a way that is “reasonable and necessary for the achievement of a legitimate commercial purpose.”
The U.K. Copyright Council has called for Google to comply with the agreement, saying it will take the “unprecedented” step of changing its policies.
The council said it has raised concerns about Google’s “excessive” use of images in search results.
The copyright industry is also taking issue with the settlement.
“We welcome the U,K.
government’s decision to end its legal and regulatory attack on the Fair Use standard and focus instead on Google’s aggressive practices of using its search engine for copyright infringing purposes,” said Copyright Alliance executive director Greg Baker.
“This is an important first step in our efforts to protect the free exchange of ideas in the digital age.
Google will have to change its practices if it wishes to be able to continue to profit from the fair use of its services.”
Google said it will pay $50,000 to the U: The company also agreed to pay $30,000 in civil penalties.
Google is required to give its “fair use” guidelines to copyright holders.
It also must give them notice of the terms of the agreement and make a public record of the payment.
Copyright holders are required to pay the court fees and costs of litigation if they believe that their work was copied in violation of U.U.N.-recognized copyright law and is being reproduced illegally.