(Adds Google comment)
NEW YORK, April 28 A group of authors who are
considering whether to opt out of a settlement with Google Inc
(GOOG.O) that gives it the right to distribute books online were
granted a delay by a federal judge on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin granted a four-month extension
for a group of authors deciding whether they want to opt out or
object to Google's settlement with the Authors Guild and the
Association of American Publishers.
Under the proposed settlement agreed upon last October, Google
will pay $125 million to create a Book Rights Registry, where
authors and publishers can register works and receive compensation
from institutional subscriptions or book sales.
But a separate group of academic authors in Berkeley,
California, had petitioned for a delay on deciding whether they
should participate in the settlement that paves the way for
readers to search through millions of copyrighted books online,
browse passages and purchase copies.
"This extension gives class members more time to consider
their options under the Google book settlement," said Joanne Zack,
one of the lawyers for the Authors Guild.
Gabriel Stricker, a spokesman for Google, confirmed Sept. 4 as
the new, extended opt-out deadline for authors.
The previous deadline was May 5.
"The settlement is highly detailed, and we want to make sure
rights-holders everywhere have enough time to think about it and
make sure it's right for them," he said via email.
The judge set a final settlement hearing of Oct. 7 for court
approval. If approved it would bring to a close an almost
four-year-long legal challenge of Google's plan to make many of
the world's great books searchable online.
(Reporting by Christine Kearney; Editing by Richard Chang, Phil