In a move that could blunt some of the criticism of Google for its settlement of a lawsuit over its book-scanning project, the company signed an agreement with the University of Michigan that would give some libraries a degree of oversight over the prices Google could charge for its vast digital library, reports the New York Times. Google has faced an onslaught of opposition over the far-reaching settlement with authors and publishers. The Justice Department also has begun an inquiry into whether the settlement, which is subject to approval by a court, would violate antitrust laws. Google used the opportunity of the University of Michigan agreement to rebut some criticism. "I think that it’s pretty short-sighted and contradictory," said Google co-founder Sergey Brin, adding that the settlement would allow Google to offer widespread access to millions of books that are largely hidden in the stacks of university libraries. Under Google’s plan, public libraries will get free access to the full texts for their patrons at one computer, and universities will be able to buy subscriptions to make the service generally available, with rates based on their student enrollment. The new agreement, which Google hopes other libraries will endorse, lets the University of Michigan object if it thinks the prices Google charges libraries for access to its digital collection are too high, a major concern of some librarians. Any pricing dispute would be resolved through arbitration…

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