The clock is ticking: Google and the parties involved in the Book Search lawsuit settlement have one month from today — until November 9 — to revise the settlement and satisfy the recent objections from the US Justice Department and others.
That may seem like an ambitious timeframe given the amount of objections the settlement has received. It also suggests that Google and the parties involved involved don’t think dramatic changes are needed to make everyone happy. In a New York Times article this week, Paul Aiken of the Authors Guild — one of the parties that originally sued Google — says that “the core agreement is going to stay the same.”
In the same article, others who’ve objected to the settlement say the new timeline is too short. “It’s hard to believe that so much could change that it would respond to all serious objections,” says Pamela Samuelson.
Meanwhile, the war of words continues.
After Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt spoke to the media this week about a number of topics — including the Book Search legal battle — Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive responded by calling some Google’s statements “twisted at best.”
On Thursday, the New York Times published an op-ed piece in which Brin addresses what he calls “myths” about the settlement with some sharp words of his own:
“…nothing in this agreement precludes any other company or organization from pursuing their own similar effort. The agreement limits consumer choice in out-of-print books about as much as it limits consumer choice in unicorns.”
The war of words may not go on much longer; with just a month to submit a new settlement, the Times says a final hearing could happen as soon as late December or early January.
For background on these legal issues, see our Google Book Search archives.