PaidContent has a piece by Jeff John Roberts looking at the current status of the Authors Guild vs. Google court case involving Google’s actions in scanning millions of copyrighted e-books. The case is moving slowly forward with new motions presented today, that Judge Chin has promised to rule on later.
The Authors Guild wants Chin to okay its request for class-action status to let the US’s writers sue together. Google argues that the Guild doesn’t have standing to sue on authors’ behalf, and the suits should be brought by individual authors who feel they have been wronged—and that the suit should leave out all the writers who are perfectly fine with the scanning program.
The Authors Guild had been joined in its suit by publishers, but the publishers have been dropping out one by one to come to their own settlements with Google. The Authors Guild soldiers on.
As Roberts points out, the e-book landscape has changed considerably since the suits were filed in 2005, or even since the original 3-way settlement proposal was rejected in 2010. At the time, critics were concerned Google would dominate the nascent e-book market, but those worries now seem laughable beside Amazon’s dominance on the one hand, and the publishers and Apple facing Justice Department antitrust sanctions on the other.
In any event, it doesn’t look like this case will be settled any time soon, but it’s nice to know that it’s still chugging along. Maybe someday we’ll finally get to know the outcome.