Saturday, May 12, 2012

Google, Author’s Guild Clash Over Class Action and Standing

May 10, 2012 -  By - Library Journal

Judge Chin heard oral argument in the Google Books case on May 4 and ultimately reserved decision. The parties will go ahead with their summary judgment motions, with oral argument scheduled for September.
According to New York Law School professor James Grimmelmann’s Labortorium blog, Google argued that individual authors, not the Author’s Guild, should be the plaintiff because each author will present sufficiently different issues that their individual participation will be required.
Under questioning by the judge, Google’s lawyer admitted that Google’s fair use decisions were made by categories of works, not on a case-by-case basis, but used a survey of authors to contend that whether authors are helped or harmed by inclusion in Google Books really does vary with each individual’s circumstances. To prove this point, Google commissioned a survey of more than 800 authors about their opinions regarding the project.
According to Mediapost, the majority of respondents, 58 percent, said they approved of Google scanning their books, while 28 percent were neutral and 14 percent objected. Almost three out of four respondents, 74 percent, said they don’t believe that Google’s scans would affect them financially, while 19 percent said they have or would benefit and 8 percent said they have or would be harmed. Google’s lawyer, Daralyn Durie, said it was “very telling” that the Guild did not survey its own membership rolls. Instead, the Guild has a pair of expert reports that it claims help establish common economic harm to authors.
Full story at Library Journal

1 comment:

transpressnz said...

Like big organisations generally, Google is very good at some things and dumb in other things they do. This action will only end up enriching lawyers, but should at least demonstrate to Google that they can't just do as they please without consequences.