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Federal judge grants extension for Google book search settlement

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Monday extended a deadline for filing an amended settlement agreement [Authors Guild backgrounder] between Google [corporate website] and groups of authors and publishers over Google's book-scanning initiative [Google Book Search website]. Judge Denny Chin granted the delay after Google and other parties to the settlement submitted a letter [text, PDF] requesting that the original Monday deadline be extended to Friday, November 13. According to that letter, the groups had been meeting with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] in order to address concerns the DOJ had over the initial agreement [JURIST reports] developed last October. Chin is expected to hold a hearing [AFP report] in December or January on whether to approve the amended settlement.

In September, the DOJ filed a statement of interest [text, PDF; press release] urging Chin to reject a class action settlement in the copyright suit [case materials] against Google. In its statement, which came after an investigation [JURIST report] into the agreement, the DOJ said that the proposed settlement raises concerns over class action, copyright, and antitrust law. Under the terms of the initial agreement, Google would pay $125 million to authors and publishers of copyrighted works. In return, Google would be allowed to display online up to 20 percent of the total pages of a copyrighted book, and would offer users an opportunity to purchase the remainder of any viewed book.

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