updated 12:27 am EDT, Fri June 1, 2012
The Authors Guild certified as class, despite Google's wishes
A New York federal judge has given class certification to authors fighting Google over plans for the world's largest digital library. Judge Denny Chin ruled that a class action is ""more efficient and effective than requiring thousands of authors to sue individually." Google was attempting to ban The Authors Guild from the case, and petitioned the court to force each individual author to sue as an individual, rather than as a group.
A Google spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the company was "confident that Google Books is fully compliant with copyright law." Google's main argument for individual suits was a copyright-ownership issue. Google claims the groups are not the owners of the copyrights, and they do not possess the individual facts about copyright ownership, economic issues, or specific details relevant to each author.
Google offered a $125 million settlement,, which was approved by the Author's guild in March of 2011. Judge Chin dismissed the settlement, but supported Google's book scanning effort, claiming it would be a windfall for libraries. The judge did not approve of Google's reacting to complaints rather than dealing with copyright issues in advance of the scanning effort.