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Judge sets a deadline for Google book deal

Voices frustration that case is still unresolved
Wed Jul 20 2011, 14:01

A US JUDGE is pushing for a book deal between Google and authors and publishers by mid September after voicing frustration that the case remains unresolved.

US District Judge Denny Chin said he was "a little bit concerned" that the six year old case is still ongoing, adding that he felt a tight schedule or deadline might help resolve matters.

He told Google and the book industry that if they don't come up with a plan to create a digital library that they both agree on by 15 September then he will set a relatively tight schedule for a possible trial, according to Reuters.

The original lawsuit was filed in 2005 by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, with a $125m settlement reached in 2009. However, in March of this year Chin rejected the settlement, citing concerns over the potential for Google to exploit the copyrights of books for which permission had not been sought. He was also concerned about the potential for Google to claim "orphaned" or unclaimed books.

Chin suggested that Google solve the problem by using an opt-in feature, where authors would agree to allow Google to scan their book into its digital library, rather than the current opt-out model, where Google uploads the books of anyone and everyone, but allows authors to request that their work be taken down.

Sony, which makes an e-reader that is compatible with Google Ebooks, has sided with Google in the case, but Amazon, which makes the rival Kindle device and its library of ebooks that don't work with Google Ebooks or supporting devices, has voiced concerns that the deal would give Google too much power. Microsoft also objected to the deal and the US Department of Justice expressed concerns over potential violations of copyright law.

Gabriel Stricker, a spokesperson for Google said that the company is exploring a number of options to potentially resolve the situation and address the concerns raised by Chin. µ

 

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