Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Google Book Search Case: March Madness Edition; Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/5/10

Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education; The Google Book Search Case: March Madness Edition:

"The February 18 fairness hearing on the revised settlement in the Google Books lawsuit has come and gone, and the world now waits for word from Denny Chin, the federal judge in charge of the case. It could be a long wait. At the Association of American Publishers meeting held in Washington this week, there was talk that we might not hear from the judge for a couple of months. (He could issue a ruling anytime, of course.)

One question on the minds of everyone following the settlement is : What happens after the judge rules? Jonathan Band, a specialist in technology law and policy, has created a nifty chart of possible paths the settlement might take, depending on what Judge Chin decides. Called "GBS March Madness: Paths Forward for the Google Books Settlement," the chart lays out a many-branched tree of appeals or litigation, all the way up to the Supreme Court.

In a note, Mr. Band points out that even a chart as complex as his does not lay out all the possible twists and turns the case could still take. "For example, it does not mention stays pending appeals nor whether litigation would proceed as a class action," he writes. And it doesn't talk about why Judge Chin might reject or accept the deal, or whether Congress might step in at some juncture.

"In short, the precise way forward is more difficult to predict than the NCAA tournament," Mr. Band observes."

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