Those of you accustomed to the quick pace of Internet time will be disapointed to know that the schedule for Authors Guild v. Google has been pushed back about six months. Summary judgment deadlines are now scheduled for January 2008. That's 2008, as in, "Won't Google own the world by then?"
Authors Guild v. Google is currently in the pre-trial phase, and the amended case management order filed in New York district court says motions for summary judgment are to be filed by Jan. 11, 2008. At that time, both parties will likely file motions asking the court to rule in their favor based on the merits of the evidence produced.
Doesn't that mean that Google, in the meantime, will continue to operate Google Books as normal, which is exactly what the Authors Guild wants to prevent?
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.
But if you ask me, the delay benefits Google. While the lawyers are busy scheduling pre-trial dates, Google Books will continue to garner plaudits and partners. The culture of the Internet will continue to favor fair use -- in everything from books to video -- and by the time this case gets to trial it may be a lot more difficult to rule against Google.