Google Delays Authors Guild Case

    October 20, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Motions for summary judgments in Authors Guild v Google have been delayed at Google’s request, and will not be filed until January 2008.

Even though the six-month delay noted by Steve Bryant at Google Watch works in Google’s favor, it isn’t a change that alarmed the Authors Guild. The wheels of justice turn slowly, especially for those used to the wicked pace of developments in the technology world:

Unfortunately for all you legal conspiracy theorists out there, the Authors Guild says Google isn’t trying to outspend them in the courtroom and make litigation too expensive. Paul Aiken, executive director of the AG, said the scheduling change was fairly typical for large cases such as this, which tend to drag on. He also said the Authors Guild agreed to this change, and it wasn’t something they fought to avoid.

Search Views also commented on the case, and noted how the process for a pair of lawsuits against Google over its book scanning activities has been consolidated:

Finally, a legal battle that’s been brewing for over two years came to the surface once again – a US District Judge has consolidated two Google Books cases into one, to “streamline the process”. This precedence could lead to a mass collection of similar cases, allowing for “just one discovery phase” and much faster results.

MarketWatch noted the consolidation took place on October 12th, and it puts the authors and publishers battling Google together in the courtroom:

Without consolidation, each case would have undergone its own discovery process. Now there’ll just be one discovery phase to determine what’s to be presented in both cases, with publishers and authors teaming up.

Sprizzo’s streamlining was inevitable because the authors and publishers accuse Google of virtually the same thing, and plan to use the same kind of evidence.

Complaints about Google damaging book sales have started to ring hollow. Publishers have been seeing sales from their backlists and cited Google as driving increased sales of titles to their businesses.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.