The lawsuit over Google Books is back on track for trial but purposely with enough time to allow the parties involved to keep negotiating a settlement.
In a New York City courtroom today, Judge Denny Chin heard from Google, the Authors Guild and the American Association Of Publishers about progress in talks.
Bloomberg reports that Jeannine Daralyn Durie, a lawyer for Google, told the judge that the company has made “substantial progress” in talks with publishers.
The American Association of Publishers also says talks are advancing:
“Today, we informed the court that the Association of American Publishers, the five publisher plaintiffs and Google have made good progress toward a settlement that would resolve the pending litigation regarding the Google Library Project.
Michael Boni, a lawyer for the Authors Guild, said the group “very much wants to work out a settlement” with the company, according to a Reuters report.
Judge Chin also remains hopeful for a settlement even though he said, “you’re essentially starting from scratch.”
While the negotiations continue, Judge Chin did approve a schedule of events that will move the case to to trial (if necessary) toward the middle of next year.
Law Professor and Google Book legal expert James Grimelmann has posted the preliminary schedule on his blog, beginning with plaintiffs moving for a class certification by December 12, 2011 and Google responding by January 26, 2012. He adds that settlement talks will continue while the pretrial proceedings are taking place.
Grimelmann also reports about a question the judge asked to the attorneys:
Judge Chin inquired about the framing of the case. He asked whether the legal issues focused on the display of snippets, or whether the plaintiffs wanted to “expand” the suit. Both [Bruce] Keller [Attorney for Publishers] and Boni [Authors Guild] made a point of emphasizing that they saw the case more broadly. Keller explained that it was about copying, scanning, storing, and displaying the works (including, but not limited to snippets). Judge Chin expressed surprise that the list didn’t include “selling.”
For a thorough review of today’s events and the complete pretrial calendar, Grimelmann’s blog post is not only a good place to begin but also an excellent resource to monitor as is his Twitter stream.
(gavel image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)