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December 7, 2011
Google To Seek Dismissal of the Book Scanning Case
Google is asking the District Court to dismiss the claims brought against it by the Author’s Guild et al. This comes as settlement talks still appear to be ongoing, though nowhere near any agreement. I don’t know if this is meant as leverage in the talks, but at least it may ultimately address the ultimate issue in the case, whether scanning entire works and displaying snippets without permission of the copyright holder is a violation of copyright law. I would have to think that the Court may treat a motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgment as a matter of practicality. Otherwise, what is the point? Are there any facts in dispute? I would think that the only issue at this point would be damages, assuming that Google loses.
Judge Chin’s most recent order gives Google until December 23, 2011 to make the filing, with the plaintiffs’ response due on January 3, 2012. Google gets to file its response on February 3, 2012. By then the case will have dragged on for almost seven years. PC World has a story on the move by Google here.
There is a companion piece from earlier in November that suggests that precedent from the record industry litigation against MP3.com squarely lines up against Google’s fair use defense. I don’t know. This case would have been over long ago if it were that easy. [MG]