Google, Authors and Publishers Given More Time To Negotiate Over Book Settlement

Google, U.S. publishers and authors received an extended deadline from a federal appeals court judge Tuesday under which to negotiate a new potential settlement over the search giant’s unauthorized digitization of millions of books.

A Google spokesman told reporters after the hearing in Manhattan that the company has been working closely with both authors and publishers to get a deal done.Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Denny Chin set a new deadline of September 15 for the court’s next hearing.

Chin had been a federal district court judge overseeing the case until he was appointed by President Obama to join the Second Circuit.

The judge in March rejected Google’s proposed $125 million settlement with the Association of American Publishers and The Authors Guild saying that it was not fair, adequate or reasonable.

Under the proposed settlement,. Google would have been allowed to go forward with its book scanning activities, and authors would have to go and register themselves in order to claim their royalties.

But many authors rejected that set-up, saying that it turned copyright law on its head, making them do the work of registering rather than having Google negotiate deals with them first.

There were also a plethora of other concerns from rivals such as Amazon.com, and the Justice Department.

Chin said in his March opinion that Google could simply address the situation by allowing authors to opt-in to the database rather than forcing them to opt-out.

Almost 7,000 authors and their estates had opted out of the Google book settlement.

Big name authors include Jeffrey Archer, Bret Easton Ellis and Ursula LeGuin, among others.

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