The US Justice Department is currently studying if Google's project on book scanning violates antitrust laws as library groups; authors and campus researchers have expressed serious concern over the move.
The project christened 'Google Print Library Project,' takes snippets from millions of out-of-print but copyright-protected books that have been indexed online by the University of Michigan and other libraries.
It also scans public-domain works. A class-action lawsuit was filed in 2005 where the Authors Guild alleged that Google was "engaging in massive copyright infringement."
As per the newly agreement with the Guild, Google would pay $125 million while developing online sales opportunities for scanned books that turn up in Google searches (See: Google settles with publishers; to pay $125 million).
Google would get 37 percent of future revenue, and publishers and authors would share the rest. Now this settlement faces new scrutiny as experts fears that the deal could give Google too much power over future access to digital texts.
Problems for Google arose when some of the libraries participating in Google's book-scanning programme scanned the entire copyrighted books raising objections from publishers who said scanning the full book without permission, and storing it for public viewing violated copyrights.
In its defence Google said that creating a massive card catalog to let users view only brief excerpts of books, should not involve its having to seek express permission to scan the books.
Google has about 7 million books scanned.