Google Books 'Opt-in' Settlement in the Works, as Judge Presses for New Deal

The Google Books saga continues to this day. Google's ambitious effort of digitizing the world's books and making them available online have been met with resistance from copyright owners. Two authors and publishers organizations sued Google over the project over five years ago.

To this day, they haven't reached an agreement and the judge presiding over the case has little more patience for the two sides and wants the matter resolved no later than September.

Judge Dennis Chin has been overlooking the lawsuit since the beginning. The two sides came to an agreement a few years back, but it was rejected since the judge felt it was too wide.

He also urged to two sides to come up with another settlement agreement, one which would not put Google at such an advantage over other companies.

But there hasn't really been any progress, so the judge, at the latest status conference, gave the two sides a deadline of September 15 for them to, at least, agree to new terms in principle.

The Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers sued Google in 2005 over its Google Books program.

In 2008, the two sides came to an agreement, one that would give Google the ability to continue to scan all books, copyrighted or not, and to sell orphaned books, for which the copyright holder cannot be determined, in exchange for a big lump of money.

Since then, they been working on the settlement and finally got it in front of the judge who, after a lengthy review, dismissed the deal saying it went too far.

The deal would automatically include any author and book, unless the copyright holder of each title specifically requested to be removed from it. This is the part that the judge didn't like.

At the recent status conference, Google and the publishers revealed that they are working on an 'opt-in' deal, though they would not reveal what exactly this entails.

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