Judge delays Google e-book trial

Appellate court judge rules a trial can wait until the parties resolve whether plaintiffs can sue as a class.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
Casey Newton
The trial in the long-running Google / Author's Guild lawsuit has been delayed again.
The trial in the long-running Google / Author's Guild lawsuit has been delayed again. Google

Google won a delay in its copyright fight with the Authors Guild, which sued the company over its efforts to scan millions of books and make passages available online.

Judge Raymond Lohier of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan granted Google's request to stay a lower-court trial while the company appeals a decision that will allow the plaintiffs to sue as a class, Bloomberg reports.

In June, U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin, who is sitting in as a trial judge in the case, granted it class-action status. But Google is appealing, saying many authors covered by the suit want their work included in Google's search engine.

Last month, Chin ordered proceedings in the 7-year-old case to continue. Lohier's ruling reverses that order.

Google has scanned more than 12 million books for its digitization project. The Authors Guild has argued that if Google is found liable for copyright infringement, the company will owe between $750 and $30,000 per work.

The long-running case was nearly resolved last year when the parties reached a $125 million settlement. But Chin overturned the settlement after the Department of Justice expressed concern it would reduce competition in the digital-book marketplace.