Google's Book Search deal may be headed for an opt-in conclusion, according to counsel for the agreement. District Court Judge Denny Chin said he wants to see a deal Sept. 15.
judge presiding over Google's controversial Book Search agreement is growing
impatient with the search engine and the authors and publishers with whom it is
trying to reach a revised agreement.
District Court Judge Denny Chin has asked the parties to come to a new
settlement before his next hearing, which he penciled in for Sept. 15. If both
sides cannot reach a new agreement, Chin will set a schedule for the case to
proceed to trial.
Google struck a Google Book Search deal
with authors and
publishers in October 2008, aiming to resolve a copyright case with rights holders
stretching back to 2005.
agreed to pay $125 million to scan out-of-print works into its search engine
and sell access to them to consumers and libraries via its Google Books site.
Google would also share any book sales with the authors and publishers who
owned the copyrights.
The deal was revised in November 2009
it was heavily criticized by the U.S. Justice Department and Google rivals,
such as Amazon and Microsoft, and ultimately rejected by Chin in March.
The judge said the agreement would give Google a de facto
over unclaimed works and concluded the deal was unfair to
rights holders whose copyrighted works would be served online without their
He called for a
revised settlement, preferably one that allowed rights holders to opt-in to the
plan. But Chin also warned that if such a deal was not hashed out sufficiently,
he would pursue a trial.
The Laboratium blog reported
that Authors Guild
counsel Michael J. Boni said during a hearing with Chin July 19 that the
parties needed more time and hoped to reach an "opt-in settlement,"
which is what many of the deal's opponents called for.
expressed impatience, saying he was concerned there was no revised plan to
present at the hearing.
spokesperson declined to confirm whether the parties are working on an opt-in
settlement, but told eWEEK
company has been working closely with the authors and publishers to explore a
number of options in response to the court's decision.
of the outcome, we'll continue to make books discoverable and useful through
Google Books and Google eBooks," the spokesperson said, alluding to the
company's present digital book service, which has a few million titles to