The Future of the Book

Google Books Copyright Case Drags On

By posted at 5:22 am on October 20, 2006 0

This week, there were a pair of updates on the copyright cases against Google that are being brought by publishers and authors.

Initially, the two groups had been pursuing two separate complaints against Google, but this week Judge John Sprizzo consolidated the two cases into one. According to MarketWatch: “Sprizzo’s streamlining was inevitable because the authors and publishers accuse Google of virtually the same thing, and plan to use the same kind of evidence.” It sounds like that news is probably good for the authors and publishers if not terribly consequential.

The other bit of new news, that the case won’t be decided until early 2008, is undoubtedly bad for the anti-Google Books camp, both because it means the authors and publishers will have to spend more money going up against deep-pocketed Google, and because Google Books will continue operating unfettered for over a year until the case is handed down, as eWeek explains.

Now that we know that Google Books turns searchers into buyers, not stealers, perhaps it’s a good time for the authors and publishers to broker a compromise with Google.

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