updated 07:40 pm EST, Fri December 23, 2011
Google motions to clear book lawsuit of key agents
Google late Thursday put out a motion to toss associations from the publisher lawsuit targeting Google's proposal to get rights for Google Books. The search giant asked the judge to limit the lawsuit only to those who actually owned copyrights, ruling out groups like the Author's Guild as well as some individual authors and even photographers. The step would significantly limit the ability of the remaining groups to contest the case.
Its action might press Google and publishers to settle. Although many of them object to Google's plans, which among other steps would see Google digitize out-of-print books and give free access to publishers, many of them would still be making money from books that would otherwise sit idle.
Google still faces risks. If a request is granted to make the lawsuit class-action, it would have to pay everyone involved. Leaving it to individual parties would only involve having to pay the remaining groups in the lawsuit and strike a deal to please the rest.
An individual case could finish relatively quickly, but a class action case would see Google have to make an argument for fair use late into 2012 and might not decide the case until as late as 2013. [via Ars Technica]