Google book deal verdict delayed

A judge has delayed the hearing on a $125 million deal which will allow Google to create a massive digital library.

Google book deal verdict delayed

In a two-page order, US District Judge Denny Chin postponed the hearing scheduled for 7 October regarding a controversial settlement between Google and groups representing authors and publishers.

The settlement, which would allow Google to distribute and sell digital versions of out-of-print, copyrighted books, was criticised by the US Justice Department earlier in the week. The DOJ urged the parties to modify the settlement, which it said posed antitrust issues.

This was followed by the authors and publishers groups that struck the deal with Google asking the court to delay the hearing in order to resolve the DOJ’s concerns.

Judge Chin claims that while the proposed settlement would offer many benefits to society, it also raises significant issues, as demonstrated by the number of objections to the deal by various parties, including countries, states and nonprofit organisations.

“Under all the circumstances, it makes no sense to conduct a hearing on the fairness and reasonableness of the current settlement agreement, as it does not appear the current settlement will be the operative one,” Judge Chin writes in his statement.

Instead of the hearing on 7 October, the judge scheduled a “status conference” on that date to determine how to proceed with the case.

Google issued a statement citing the Judge’s statement that the settlement would benefit society.

“If approved by the court, this settlement stands to unlock access to millions of books in the US, while giving authors and publishers new ways to distribute their work,” the company claims.

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