Associations cited antitrust and copyright concerns
Google urged a US judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the Authors Guild and association representing photographers to sue the company as a group, which could force them to fight the case against the search major individually.
Manhattan federal judge Denny Chin has not given any decision and reserved the verdict to toss the lawsuits by the Authors Guild and the American Society of Media Photographers.
The judge was reported by Reuters as saying during oral arguments that it would take forever to resolve cases brought by individual authors and it seems to make sense to consider the lawsuits as a group.
Chin last year rejected a $125m settlement between the parties as they failed to reach a common agreement.
The litigation came after Google revealed plans in 2004 to develop a digital library of books by digitally scanning books to provide snippets of text online to internet users.
The associations sued Google in 2005 for copyright infringement alleging the practice is likely to make the books pirated.
Google has already entered into contracts with libraries for scanning, distributing and displaying about 20 million books for the project and planned to have 130 million books in the company’s digital library.
In court papers, Google said the groups representing authors and photographers "are not owners of the copyrights asserted in this case, and the associations do not possess the facts about copyright ownership, individual economic impact, or the other individualized questions required of a plaintiff in a copyright litigation matter where ownership and fair use are at issue."