Hearing today on Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement

Filed under Google Books Settlement

There will be a hearing today on the fairness of the Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement  in the Southern District of New York (Chin, J.) The Copyright Clearance Center has posted a podcast interview with Lois F. Wasoff that provides a nice preview of the upcoming hearing. A transcript of the interview is here. A brief snipit on what to expect:

WASOFF: For those of us who are following this closely, it’s going to be fascinating. Maybe not generally fascinating, but for those of us like you and I, Chris, who’ve been following this closely, it’s going to be interesting.

There are about 30 different speakers, the neighborhood of 30 different speakers that have been recognized by the court as having the ability to speak at the hearing. The number is a little bit of a moving target. The overwhelming majority of those – more than five-sixths of them, by the present count, about 25 of them – are going to be speaking in opposition to the current amended settlement agreement. About five will be speaking in favor.

All of those speakers will be given only five minutes each, and the court has suggested that they coordinate their remarks to prevent too much redundancy. The judge has also said he’s going to read all of the written submissions to the court, even if speakers have not been given an opportunity to speak or can’t cover all of their points in their five minutes. So we know what Judge Chin will be doing for the next period of time. He has a lot of reading to do.

Following those individual presentations, there’ll be a representative of the Department of Justice speaking, and then finally, the parties to the suit, the proponents of the settlement. Because at this point, Google, the authors and the publishers – or more properly, Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers – are on the same side. Even though they were adversaries in the litigation, they’re all the proponents. They’ll be given an opportunity to speak as well.

The entire courtroom will be filled essentially only with people who are going to be speaking because there’s that big a crowd who will be speaking. There’s an overflow room that’s been designated. There’ll be a video broadcast. The Twitter feeds will be interesting. It’ll be a very, very, very full day.

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