Yahoo Declines to Help Google in Authors Guild Lawsuit

By Steve Bryant  |  Posted 2006-12-04 Print this article Print

Yahoo has declined to provide Google with information that may help Google defend itself against a lawsuit filed by the Author's Guild, according to documents filed in California district court today. [Correction: objections aren't filed publicly. Yahoo served this objection to Google.]

The response comes after Google's October supboena to several companies -- including Amazon, Yahoo, Random House and HarperCollins -- which asked those companies to reveal details about their book search projects.

"Yahoo is not a party to the underlying action against Google relating to book scanning, does not have a book scanning program of its own, and has no information that is remotely relevant to the Google Action," reads the response.

Yahoo's refusal to cooperate follows a similar refusal by Amazon, which argued that Google's request is overbroad and concerns proprietary information.

Yahoo's refusal stipulates that even if Yahoo had ever considered launching a book scanning program, those plans are not admissable evidence, nor are "Yahoo's mental impressions about the copyright status of any book."

Yahoo currently supports the Open Content Alliance, a non-profit project which seeks, much like Google Book Search, to digitize books and make them searchable online.

The Authors Guild lawsuit was filed in September 2005 and is based, in part, on the idea that Google violates fair use practices by scanning the entirety of a book in order to make that books searchable. Google's request for Yahoo's information may be part of a strategy to demonstrate to the court that Google Book Search is no different than several other book scanning projects, which also scan the entirety of books.

The schedule for the lawsuit was recently pushed back by six months.

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