Google, Authors Guild clash over class action & standing

May 10, 2012

10 May 2012. 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.

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