As their long-running legal battle continues, Google has asked a federal judge to dismiss lawsuits brought by authors’ and photographers’ groups over its book-scanning service.
According to Bloomberg News, Google told judge Denny Chin that The Authors Guild can’t sue on behalf of the authors because the Guild doesn’t own the copyrights to the books that Google has been scanning since the program was announced in 2004.
Reuters reports that, in response to Google’s claim, Chin said “it would take forever” to resolve individual author’s lawsuits and that it “seems to make sense” to allow the lawsuits to continue as a group. Authors Guild attorney Joanne Zack argued in favor of a class action, saying “it would be a terrible burden on the court if each individual author was forced to litigate.”
The Authors Guild brought its class action suit against Google in 2005, calling Google’s digital book scanning a “massive” copyright infringement. The two sides reached a settlement in 2008 that called for writers to opt-out if they objected to Google scanning their works. Chin rejected that settlement in March 2011, saying the settlement should be opt-in, instead.
Separately today, Google also asked Chin to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the American Society of Media Photographers. That group sued Google in 2010 over the inclusion of copyrighted images that appear in the books Google has been scanning.
Judge Chin indicated that he’ll consider Google’s motions and announce a decision later.