Google digital books dispute heads to federal court
Google's long legal battle for the rights to digitize millions of books will come to a head on Thursday, when dozens of opponents are expected to speak out in federal court against the search giant's plans. Post Tech will be in Manhattan to cover the trial.
Judge Denny Chin, who presides over the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, is scheduled to hear arguments for and against a revised settlement between Google and some authors and publishers that would allow the company to scan millions of copyright-protected but out-of-print books and publish those works online.
Chin isn't expected to issue a decision on the settlement Thursday. But Google and its opponents will pay close attention to Chin's questions and comments during the hearing for clues to how he might ultimately decide the case. Of the 28 witnesses given five minutes each to present arguments, 23 oppose the deal, including competitors Microsoft, Amazon, the ACLU, AT&T and the Internet Archives.
The Justice Department has said that, even with recently made revisions, the settlement still provokes concerns that competitors including Amazon, Microsoft and others could unfairly be put at a disadvantage in the digital books market after the class action settlement. The agency will also give testimony tomorrow.
Here's a video primeron the legal dispute, which has lasted five years.
February 17, 2010; 4:38 PM ET
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