Monday, September 28, 2009
Many have been following the federal class action lawsuit against Google: The Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 05 CV 8136 (S.D.N.Y.). The suit was filed in 2005 by authors and publishers who alleged that Google's digital copies of copyrighted works constituted "massive copyright infringement."
The parties reached a settlement agreement last year, but that settlement has spawned even more controversy. It would create a "Book Rights Registry" that would (among other things) allow Google to sell digital versions of the books. The settlement (in the words of the New York Times) "has prompted dozens of opposing filings from individuals, rival companies like Amazon and Microsoft, advocacy organizations, groups representing authors and publishers and even some foreign governments."
The FRCP 23(e)(2) fairness hearing on the proposed settlement was originally scheduled for next Wednesday (10/7). Last week, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ordered that the hearing be postponed in light of "ongoing negotiations with the Department of Justice that, according to plaintiffs, will result in significant changes to the existing settlement agreement." Instead, the court will hold a status conference "to determine how to proceed with the case as expeditiously as possible."
In addition to PACER, filings in the case can be accessed via Justia.
Google's website about the settlement is here. Wikipedia's entry is here.
(Hat Tip: Michael W. Carroll)